TAMIL NADU

Tourist fair to have several novelties this year

big draw: (From left) Tourism Secretary V.Irai Anbu, Tourism Director M.Rajaram and Tourism Minister N.Suresh Rajan at the launch of the tourism and trade fair in Chennai on Tuesday.

big draw: (From left) Tourism Secretary V.Irai Anbu, Tourism Director M.Rajaram and Tourism Minister N.Suresh Rajan at the launch of the tourism and trade fair in Chennai on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S. R. Raghunathan

Special Correspondent

Performing arts, sports, games and lucky draws will add to excitement

CHENNAI: Starting Wednesday, Island Grounds could be your one-stop shop for electronic goods, a variety of cuisine or hand-crafted curios.

If you are civic-minded, you could get a dubious water sample tested on the spot; the health conscious can undergo a blood test or blood pressure check.

The India Tourist Anna Centenary Industrial Fair, hosted by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, kicks off on Wednesday at this sprawling venue with several novelties this year. Performing arts, sports, games and lucky draws will add to the excitement. Several sideshows have been planned to attract children.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will inaugurate the 70-day-long event at 5.30 p.m.

In scale, the fair this year could put to shade all previous editions – 115 private stalls, 42 pavilions by government departments and agencies and 26 showrooms.

Last year, the turnout was about 14.45 lakh. Tourism managers expect the 2008 edition to attract an estimated 20 lakh visitors. The proceeds from the fair are expected to be about Rs. 2.20 crore against the Rs.1.51 crore the previous year.

Tourism Minister N. Suresh Rajan told presspersons that the fair would directly or indirectly employ about 5,000 persons.

Among the innovations this year are a frontage recreation of the landmark Thirumalai Naicker Mandapam in Madurai, a model of the Amarnath caves in Jammu and Kashmir and a children’s auditorium, where artistes would showcase the folk traditions of the State for the young generation.

The Reserve Bank of India pavilion will facilitate exchange of soiled currency. RBI volunteers will explain to visitors the sure-fire way to detect counterfeit notes.

Security measures

Asked about security measures, the Minister said adequate arrangements had been chalked out in coordination with the city police.

The MTC will operate special services from various destinations across the city and suburbs.

The entry ticket is Rs.10 for adults and half the amount for school and college students.

The fair will be open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.

The Minister took a quick survey of the stalls at the venue. He was accompanied by Tourism Secretary V. Irai Anbu, Tourism Commissioner M. Rajaram and TTDC chairman Sanwat Ram.

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