Bengaluru: Groups of runners participating in marathons are a common sight at Cubbon Park. Running for all kinds of awareness campaigns, they don't seem to care about cleanliness of one of the most precious lungs spaces in the city, some feel.
"I walk everyday and this morning, I saw tonnes of plastic bottles thrown around by marathoners. Even liquor bottles were found on the lawns. They put up snack stalls on the footpaths, making it difficult for us to walk," said Mr Umesh Kumar, President, Cubbon Park Walker's Association.
Almost all the roads inside the Cubbon Park, right from Central Library, Hudson Circle, Maharaja's Statue and Siddalingaiah Circle, were littered after a marathon on Saturday.
"They run on the lawns, though they can stick to the roads. They should know that it damages the park. Why do we allow marathons in Cubbon Park and not Lalbagh," he asked.
The Horticulture Department too should be blamed for lackadaisical maintenance of the park. The 'Use me' bins here don't have bottoms and all the garbage thrown in ends on the lawns, making the waste disposal system redundant.
Joint Director of Horticulture Dr Jagadeesh said that marathons cannot be allowed at Lalbagh as it is a botanical garden and needs to be preserved. "When people run marathons, they come in big groups. It is difficult to manage them. We banned marathons in Lalbagh, but we allow them in Cubbon Park with strict instructions to the organisers," he said.
"We tell them not to use plastic bottles or step on the lawns, to put up snack and water stalls only in a few places and not to litter. But people need to have civic sense and responsibility as we cannot monitor always," he said.
As for the useless 'Use Me' bins, he said, "Deputy Director Mahantesh Murgod does replace and add dustbins every year, but they get worn out over time. They will all be replaced soon."...