BANGALORE: Whitefield residents need not face the gruelling traffic on Bangalore roads or travel over twenty kilometers to catch the fresh air of Lalbagh. The State Horticulture Department is all set to establish a botanical garden similar to Lalbagh at Kannamangala. This will give that part of the city a much-needed lung space.
A unit of the State Horticulture Department, the elite seed coconut farm, is spread across an area of about 68 acres at Kannamangala, near Whitefield. This area is to be converted into a botanical garden very soon and it is to be christened as East Lalbagh, said Dr S Ashwath, Joint Director of Horticulture (Parks and Gardens).
“In the last three decades, we had been growing nearly 80 different varieties of hybrid palm species on this particular piece of land. But due to water scarcity, the growth of these seeds were affected. Hence, we decided to convert it into a botanical garden,” he elaborated.
The project is estimated to cost Rs 1.90 crores. “We have begun with the preliminary works,” he said and added, “Since water is a major issue, we have started with the installing the irrigation network. Besides rejuvenating the existing borewells, drilling of four new borewells have been completed. We are now in the process of installing pumpsets. We plan to install a sprinkler irrigation system here. Come monsoon and we will begin with the planting of different species of plants, shrubs, trees, and indoor plants as we now have at Lalbagh.”
Once the lawns are developed over the next one year, the department will open the garden for public view. The primary attraction at East Lalbagh will be the rare varieties of orchids the department is planning to grow here. Ashwath said, “We have started procuring different species of orchids from other states like West Bengal, Sikkim and other places from within Karnataka as well. Steps have been taken to retain the different species of palm trees that grow in the area too.”
There are plans to develop similar botanical gardens at five different places in the State. “Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, Mysore, Sirsi and Belgaum will soon see botanical gardens similar to the Lalbagh. Construction work has begun in all the five cities,” said Dr Aswath.