As a regular user of Lingambudhi Park over several years, I have seen many incidents of misuse of this public park and its surroundings by irresponsible visitors as also many contract workers of the Forest Department. Because of several sandalwood trees in this vast park, many attempts have been made to cut the trees by thieves and an incident of shooting has also taken place not long ago. As a senior citizen and a regular visitor, I see many violations of the rules put up at the main entrance at Ramakrishnanagar end. A few such violations are as below:
1. Vehicles, mainly two-wheelers, are freely allowed to roam inside the park. These vehicles do not carry any identity badge or a sticker on them. The drivers also do not wear any uniform or carry any identity badge. When questioned, they use bad language and put the blame on the Department. Such vehicles are also allowed to be parked over night within the park premises.
Why can’t the Forest Department provide some kind of identity to the staff/ contract workers and their vehicles? This helps public to also act as watchdogs.
2. Unassuming visitors, may be from other countries/ States bring along pet dogs during morning/ evening strolls. There is no staff to regulate the same.
3. Misuse of playground equipment and poor maintenance. Many equipment meant for children are in broken condition due to misuse by adults. There is no caution board in this regard and no supervision either to regulate as also pleas to get the equipment restored have fallen on deaf ears. They pose a threat to the children using them without knowing.
4. The RO Plant located near the gate is not working for several years and when it was in working condition, many morning walkers used to wash faces in that water meant for drinking purpose. Again no caution board.
5. The public toilets inside the park lack upkeep and regular cleaning.
6. Many petitions to stop flow of sewage into the Lake have been made over the years. Yet, there is no confirmation of the firm action taken. But we continue to see growth of green algae and bad smell from the lake.
I have only listed a few violations. Many others including consumption of liquor and trash flourishing are given a go-bye. Loads of grass, wood and other forest products are taken away daily in public glare. Trust the authorities are aware of these.
Will these cries get due attention or will it be the proverbial Aranya-Rodhana, cries in wilderness? Incidentally, the website of the Aranya Bhavan does not mention any contact numbers and a few comments therein tell the woeful story of the same.
– Prof. B.S. Shankara (Retd.), Mysuru, 10.6.2022
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