The 212th edition of the annual Independence Day flower show at Lalbagh opened to the public on Friday, after a gap of two years. Authorities said the show is expected to attract about 15 lakh footfalls over the next 10 days.
The flower show pays special floral tributes to Kannada thespian Dr Rajkumar and his son and actor Puneeth Rajkumar. Beautifully sculpted statues of the late actors adorned the glass house. The show, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, reported Rs 2.94 lakh in revenues and 4,226 footfalls on Day 1.
Amid speculations of a hike in the entry ticket fare, officials confirmed that it will remain at Rs 70 for adults and Rs 20 for children, on working days. However, the earlier fare of Rs 80 on holidays has been reduced to Rs 75. Entry is free for students in uniform. Some visitors felt that the entry fee of Rs 70 for adults and Rs 20 for children is high. “The entry fee, when calculated for a large family, is expensive,” said Lokesh Raghavan, a photographer.
This year, the flower show will be a ‘zero-waste, zero-plastic’ event. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has joined hands with Solid Waste Management Round Table and NGOs -Beautiful India and Sahas – to make the event plastic and litter-free. About 150 volunteers will educate visitors on the harmful effects of using plastic.
60 types of flowers
This year’s show will feature around 60 varieties of flowers, including roses, lilies and hydrangea. About 37 varieties of flowers have been imported from 10 countries. Speaking with DH, Joint Director of Lalbagh Botanical Gardens’ Horticulture Department Dr M Jagadeesh said the department has earmarked a separate section on terrariums and bonsai. “There is a growing interest in ornamental horticulture and we would like to bring to people as much variety as possible,” he said.
Jagadeesh said tickets were being sold online and at all four gates of Lalbagh. Visitors can park vehicles at the multi-storeyed parking lots on Double Road and JC Road. Two-wheelers can be parked near Al-Ameen College. “In an effort to encourage people to use the Metro, we have requested BMRCL to reduce the gap between train services to three minutes,” he said. There are about 600 police and security personnel deployed at various points. “We have also installed 125 security cameras that will be monitored round the clock,” he added.
Concern about counter
Visitors, especially senior citizens, raised concerns regarding the long ticket-entry counter near the Siddapura entrance.
A senior citizen, Saroja Kumari, said the counter took up a lot of space. “Seniors like us have to search for the entrance. A small counter would have been ideal. Entry and exit to the show is challenging”.