Government Botanical Garden gets ready for 23 lakh visitors expected this year

With just a few weeks to go for the curtain to go up on the tourist season for summer of 2014, in this vacation destination work on sprucing up some of the popular scenic spots has gained momentum. As part of the efforts to beautify the Government Botanical Garden, the best-known tourist spot in this hill station which attracts, on an average, about twenty-three lakh visitors a year, the Department of Horticulture is now focusing on footpaths which have been in a state of neglect for several years.

Pointing out that they had developed holes and cracks, the Joint Director of Horticulture N. Mani told The Hindu here on Sunday that the footpaths extending over 1000 square metres are being set right at a cost of rupees 15.5 lakh, under the Hill Area Development Programme.Simultaneously, irrigation sources are being strengthened at a cost of rupees 15 lakh and planters boxes are being provided near the threshold to facilitate an attractive backdrop for photographs and videos.

“The idea is to enhance the natural beauty of the 55-acre garden with appropriately designed structures,” he said.

Stating that work on improving the footpath at the Government Rose Garden here has also commenced, he said that a sum of rupees 15.5 lakh has been set aside for the purpose. Pruning of 30,000 rose plants representing 3800 varieties would commence on Monday. The operation has been planned in such a manner that all the roses would be in full bloom by the first week of April. Within a few months, another 500 varieties would be added.

Beautification works have also commenced at the Katteri Park along the Coonoor-Mettupalayam national highway. The Tea Park which is coming up at a cost of rupees 79.9 lakh on the Ooty-Kotagiri Road is expected to be ready for commissioning by April or May.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation said that the wooden jetties in the Boat House are now in the process of being replaced with concrete jetties, at a cost of rupees 40 lakh.

The mini garden near the Ooty lake, which has, for some time now, been wearing an unkempt look, is now being improved. Meanwhile, concern is growing over the town wearing a shabby look.

Observers, particularly those in the hospitality and travel sectors, hoped that before the tourist season begins, the town would be made presentable to the tourists and comfortable for the locals.

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