It attracts about 23 lakh to 24 lakh tourists every year

The beauty of the Government Botanical Garden (GBG), the main attraction in the Blue Mountains will be enhanced, said the Nilgiris Collector P.Shankar here on Saturday.

Though it covers about 55 acres of undulating land and attracts about 23 to 24 lakh tourists every year, the majority of the visitors see less than half of it as they do not move to the top portion.

Hence a beautiful cascade has been constructed there at a cost of Rs. 20 lakh under the Hill Area Development Programme (HADP).

Apart from being pleasing to the eye, it provides an ideal backdrop for videos and photographs. Adverting to a Toda mund (habitation) located just above the cascade, Mr.Shankar expressed the view that it could be christened as, “Toda Cascade’. Stating that the area will be made even more beautiful, Mr.Shankar said that the marsh in front of the cascade will be converted into a pond.

The footpath leading to the cascade would be improved.

Pointing out that the Nilgiris has for long been referred to as horticulture district, he said that floriculture is being promoted as an alternative to tea cultivation.

In order to make available good quality planting materials, the department has established a facility at a cost of Rs. 140 lakh in the State Horticulture Farm at Thummanatty near here.

Funds have been provided under the National Agriculture Development Scheme.

The objective is to produce high quality carnation plants from imported source materials and make them available to floriculturists.

Farmers who had taken up cultivation of cut flowers have for sometime now been complaining about the quality of planting materials purchased from private dealers.

The subsidy scheme for promoting floriculture has been altered to benefit more farmers. Under a Micro Irrigation Scheme being implemented with a one hundred percent subsidy sprinklers have been provided to cover 560 hectares in the district.

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