For a flower show free of bee attacks

Bengaluru: The Horticulture department is all set to ensure safety of visitors during the International Republic Day flower show that begins at Lalbagh Botanical Gardens on January 16.

This comes in the backdrop of the death of seven-year-old Vaishnavi due to an attack by a swarm of bees during the Independence Day flower show on August 16 last year.

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Speaking to media on Thursday, S B Bommanahalli, Horticulture director (incharge) and chairman of Mysore Horticulture Society, Lalbagh, said 13 beehives around the Glass House had been removed. Nets have been put around other beehives to avoid untoward
incidents.

The Horticulture department, epiculturists and parents of Vaishnavi had held a meeting, where it was decided to put nets around hives and caution boards around trees.

Four beehive experts will be present to remove any dangerous beehives on all 10 days of the show (January 16-26). Ambulance services will also be kept ready in Lalbagh. Two snake rescue experts will be stationed. Lalbagh houses many snakes, especially rat snakes. So far, no snake bite cases have been reported, Bommanahalli said.

The department has urged BBMP to identify diseased stray dogs, vaccinate them and capture them.

Entry fee to flower show will be Rs 50 on weekdays and Rs 60 on weekends and holidays, for adults. This is an increase of Rs 10, compared to last year. It is Rs 10 on all days for children. Entry will be free for schoolchildren on January 19 and 26, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Vehicle entry is restricted at Lalbagh on all days, except school buses. Parking arrangements have been made for visitors at Shantinagar bus depot, BBMP multi-storey building on JC Road, Al-Ameen College grounds and Hopcoms.

Over 500 police officials, 200 Home Guards and two KSRP teams will be deployed in day and night shifts. Fifty police officials will move around in mufti. As many CCTV cameras have been installed at strategic points.

Last year, three lakh visitors had come to the flower show. This year, the department is expecting four lakh to five lakh. Last year, the department invested Rs two crore and this year, it is spending Rs 1.2 crore to Rs 1.4 crore.

Environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said 25 ragpickers including members of Hasiru Dala, contract labourers, pourakarmikas and horticulture staff will work in two shifts to clear garbage because it is a menace after every flower show.

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