Botanical garden will be created on 34 acres of land: Minister
YERCAUD: The three-day annual summer festival and flower show got under way in the hill station on Friday.
Over 11,000 potted plants and 20,000 cut flowers have been used in this year’s flower show organised at the Anna Park.
Over 500 flower arrangements including an aesthetically decorated tower made of flowers are on display. Varied varieties of flowers of every conceivable colour at the show prove to be the prefect feast for the eyes of the tourists.
Inaugurating the festival, Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam said that a botanical garden would be created to attract more tourists to the hill station. The Government identified 34 acres of land for the purpose. The works would begin shortly.
The Government was keen on promoting tourism in the State, he said and added that the number of tourists visiting the State was increasing every year.
Over 4.6 crore tourists including 13.30 lakh foreigners visited Tamil Nadu in 2006-07. This had increased to 6.46 crore in 2008-09. The Central and State Governments allotted Rs. 46.98 crore in 2008-09 for tourism development activities.
The Government would continue to initiate efforts for the promotion of tourism in the State, creating employment opportunities for a large number of people in the tourism sector, he added.
Deputy Speaker of State Assembly V.P. Duraisamy also spoke.
Collector J. Chandrakumar, presiding, said Yercaud had attracted a large number of tourists last year.
More tourists were expected to visit this year.
In the last three years, over 1,200 development works were completed at a cost of Rs. 11.24 crore. In the last fiscal alone, works to the tune of Rs. 4.66 crore were completed. Steps were taken to improve Yercaud Ghat Road. Efforts were also on to enhance the socio-economic condition of the tribal people living in various villages in the hills, he added.
District Revenue Officer M. Rajarathinam, Mayor J. Rekha Priyadarshini, Salem Corporation Commissioner K.S. Palanisamy and senior officials were present.