Aisa's largest Tulip garden thrown open for public

Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar, Apr 1: Asia's largest Tulip Garden in the foothills of Zabarwan range overlooking the Dal Lake was thrown open for visitors today, marking beginning of tourism season in Kashmir which was hit hard by last year's unrest.

Minister of State for Floriculture Javaid Ahmed Dar formally opened the garden, which is located amidst breath taking scenic view.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was scheduled to open the garden but bad weather prevented him from flying to Srinagar from Jammu.

Interacting with the media, the minister said this year two more terraces have been added to the garden, which has more than 15 lakh tulip bulbs and 70 flower varieties spread over eight hectares.

"As of now it is the biggest garden among all the gardens developed and maintained by the Floriculture department," he said.

The Minister said the main purpose of creating this new tourist destination is to boost tourism in the Valley and in this endeavour Department of Floriculture has succeeded and this is evident by the rush of visitors to the Garden and other gardens of the Valley.

Early tourist season has shown its positive spiral effect on other allied sectors like handicrafts, hotel industry, transport, photography and houseboat industry, Dar said.

Besides serving the tourism purpose, the garden is also aimed at creating employment opportunities and promote commercial floriculture in the Valley which has a huge and ever expanding potential, the Minister said.

Commercial Floriculture Division (Model Floriculture Centre) has also been established in the garden, he said.

The Minister said towards creation of employment opportunities, the entry ticketing system, food point, photography in this garden have been outsourced and presently about 150 labourers are earning their livelihood from this garden.

Director Floriculture Sarwar Naqash said his department has earned revenue of Rs 29.86 lakh till 2010.

"The garden will remain open on all the days of the week between 9 am to 7 pm for the visitors," he said cautioning the visitors against bringing any non-biodegradable items inside to keep the garden neat and clean.


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