The idea was ushered in by Thane Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta today as he welcomed newly elected Mayor Sanjay More by presenting him a novel, titled 'Yugantara' authored by Shivaji Sawant, instead of the regular tradition of a bouquet.
Later, the civic body declared in a release here that henceforth, at all the functions the guests will be greeted with books instead of bouquets, as the flowers fade with time, but books remain intact.
"This initiative is a welcome decision as flowers remain in memory only temporarily while the books are preserved life long and remind repeatedly about the well-wisher," said a social activist, who did not wish to be named.
A hotel chain here has also set a precedent by greeting guests with plant seeds at functions held in its premises. Besides, some social organisations in the city have also started giving Tulsi plant and khadi handkerchiefs to guests at public functions, instead of flowers and garlands.