Every visitor to the famed Brindavan Gardens is cautioned to watch one’s step. “Take care of your children. Be careful while on walkways or taking selfies near ornamental flowers/fountains. Watch out for live electric wires.” These are the warning words of the gardeners, who tend to the beautiful terraced gardens of the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) near Srirangapatna.
The Brindavan Gardens attracts nearly three lakh visitors every month, of whom around 35% are children.
Yet danger lurks in every corner. When The Hindu visited the gardens recently, Horticulture Department staff were seen insulating worn-out wires. The gardens may have innumerable ornamental plants and fountains which are illuminated, but it’s the electrical fittings that are damaged either owing to poor maintenance mechanism or by miscreants.
Electric wires are seen exposed, many protruding from poles or lying on the ground along the walkways and fountains. Open fuse boxes display worn-out wires at many places.
When the issue was brought to the notice of the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL), a senior official said there was a proposal to replace the wiring by 2020. He said visitors should take care as the agency cannot keep vigil on each and every visitor. A tourist from Sikandarpur in Bihar, Radheshyam Gupta, 32, was electrocuted on June 20, 2016.
Manivannan, a teacher from Coonoor visiting the gardens, said he was disappointed with its maintenance. “I was impressed by the beauty of Brindavan Gardens in the movies that I have seen. But I was disappointed to see exposed wires, which is dangerous. I have taken nearly 100 pictures and will post them on Facebook,” he said.
When the Horticulture Department was contacted, Deputy Director Raju said, “We will ask the CNNL to initiate measures to replace the damaged lights/electrical fittings.”