An extension of financial grant to cover the entire area of 15 acres, rather than the current proposal of five acres, will help to make the botanical gardens surrounding the historic Napier Museum and Zoo one of the best in the country, Finance Minister K.M. Mani has said.

He promised the additional grant while inaugurating the beautification project of the botanical gardens at the Museum compound on Wednesday.

“Setting up rare plants as part of the beautification project will help attract major crowd, and the gardens could become a tourist destination,” said Mr. Mani.

Presiding over the function MLA K. Muraleedaran said the maintenance of the surroundings after the completion of the project should be given equal importance.

The initial Rs.5-crore project, which included construction of musical fountains, a theatre, glass house and cloak rooms, was scrapped due to lack of funds. The approved project, at Rs.2.56 crore, includes landscaping and lighting, planting of trees, construction of pathways and sign boards.

The approved project will be implemented by the Kerala Land Development Corporation (KLDC) and is expected to be completed in four months.