Mufti throws open Tulip Garden for visitors, locals

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Describes Srinagar city of gardens and flowers, Tulips icing on the cake

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SRINAGAR: Describing Srinagar as a city of magnificent gardens perched in the lap of great mountains, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today threw open for people the Asia’s largest Tulip Garden.

The opening of the garden usually marks the advent of tourist season in Kashmir valley.

Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari and Minister of State for I&C and H&UDD, Mohammad Ashraf Mir were also present on the occasion.

Exuding confidence that the tourist flow will increase this season, the Chief Minister said Kashmir is crime-free and as peaceful as any other State in the country. “I am hopeful that there will be a huge tourist rush this season. With Union Government allowing LTC on private airliners also, the visitors’ inflow will tend to grow,” he said.

Praising the administration for professionally handling the situation in the aftermath of incessant rains last week, Mufti Sayeed said public perception also affected tourist arrivals to the Valley. “I am happy that flood threat is over and a large number of tourists are planning their visits,” said the Chief Minister.

Outlining the potential that floriculture offers as a tourist and commercial activity, the Chief Minister asked the Floriculture Department to revive propagation of tulip bulbs, which are presently imported from Holland.

Mufti Sayeed went around the Tulip Garden and walked various pathways intertwined with flowerbeds of tulips of all hues sprawling all over the Zabarwan foothill.

Usually thrown open for locals and tourists in last week of March, its inauguration was slightly delayed due to incessant rains that lashed Kashmir valley for most part of last week.

The Minister for Floriculture, Garden and Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari in his address said the department is promoting floriculture as a commercial activity given the huge economic returns. He said more than 2 lakh tourists and locals are expected to visit the Tulip Garden this season. Around 1.5 lakh tourists visited the Garden last year.

Spread over 30 hectares, nearly 1 million tulips of 53 different species adorn and add colour to the  Tulip Garden which is decked in between Cheshma Shahi and Botanical Garden on one side and the Dal Lake and Mughal Gardens on the other.

Commissioner/Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Shailendra Kumar, Commissioner/Secretary, Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Rohit Kansal, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Gazanffar Hussain, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Lone, Director Information, Munir-ul-Islam and Director Floriculture, Kashmir were present on the occasion.