Many green enthusiasts of the city missed the annual flower shows of two traditional institutions: the horticultural and botanical gardens.
Neither the 202-year-old Agri-Horticultural Society of India nor the 235-year-old AJC Bose Indian Botanical Garden held their signature flower show events in February this year.
While the AgriHorticultural Society cited worker unrest, the Botanical Garden said funds crunch came in the way.
The annual flower show of the Agri-Horticultural Society in Alipore was a signature event where nature lovers and enthusiasts flocked to see the winter blooms.
The society’s secretary, Sandip Saha, said: “We were all prepared to host the flower show but decided against it closer to the date because of some untoward incident.”
The society had missed the shows in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. The last flower show was held in 2019, on its bicentenary year.
Pictures of posters by the employees’ union demanding the 2023 annual flower show have been posted on social media.
Renu Singh, a green enthusiast and a walker in the garden, said: “The agri-horticultural garden has become a park with lighting, walking tracks, fountains.”
A member of the society, too, echoed the same sentiment. “A horticultural garden has been turned into a park,” she said.
The society also faces funds crunch, added this member. “It seems they cannot generate revenue.” Sale of saplings of seasonal flowers, sale of seeds and gardening implements used to be brisk at the annual shows.
This reporter did not find saplings to buy at the society for this flowering season.
The same refrain was heard at the Shibpur garden. When asked about the flower show, garden director Devendra Singh, said: “We have no funds for arranging a flower show.”
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI), under which the AJC Bose Indian Botanical Garden falls, is the nodal agency under the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change. BSI receives its funding from the ministry which it then distributes among the 12 regional centres under it.
BSI director A.A. Mao had said the Shibpur botanical garden, being the largest, got the lion’s share of the fund. However, he was unavailable for comment on why the flower show was not held this year.