Jammu and Kashmir: 6-day long Tulip Festival enlivens Srinagar
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir, a magnet for tourists, is ready to enthrall its guests for the next few days with a burst of colours as Srinagar city is hosting a 6-day long Tulip festival from Saturday.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha along with Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan inaugurated the Tulip festival at Asia’s largest Tulip Garden in the foothills of the Zabarwan on Saturday.
The 6-day long festival is organized by the Department of Floriculture in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said his administration was committed to cash in on this opportunity and take Kashmir’s tourism to new heights.
“Peace has returned to Kashmir after so many decades, it’s time we must cash in on this,” LG Sinha said after inaugurating the Tulip Festival at Tulip Garden.
Sinha was flanked by the Governor of Kerala, Arif Muhammad Khan, and top functionaries of the government.
“Government is committed to take Kashmir’s tourism to new heights amid COVID pandemic challenges,” Sinha said while admitting that “COVID cases are rising in Jammu and Kashmir and there is a need to follow SOPs in letter and spirit.”
“COVID cases are witnessing an upsurge across India and J&K as well. We are up to this challenge; steps are being initiated to curb the spread of the virus. We have put in place hi-tech testing facilities at airports and railways stations, people who on arrival are tested positive for COVID are put in quarantine,” he said.
“We have increased the budgetary allocation for the tourism sector, and the government is also working on developing other tourism destinations,” he said.
Sinha urged tourists and people of Kashmir to follow Covid SOPs while visiting the gardens and other places.
On being asked about the PM’s tweet urging tourists to visit Tulip Garden, LG said, “Prime Minister recently stated that people of India and the rest of the world must visit Kashmir and its Tulip Garden. So PM himself is the brand ambassador of tourism promotion of Kashmir. We are hoping for a bumper tourism season in Kashmir this year.”
He also assured the filmmakers of adequate security while shooting in Kashmir.
The LG said that he was hopeful that international cargo services will start at the Srinagar International Airport soon so that Kashmir products can reach the international market within the shortest possible time.
Replying to a question about the news of former CM Farooq Abdullah being admitted to a hospital after testing COVID positive, LG said, “I pray to Allah for his well being and speedy recovery.”
Speaking on the occasion, LG said Jammu and Kashmir is endowed with unparalleled beauty and natural landscapes which have huge potential for tourism.
Earlier tourists were visiting other famous gardens and tourist places of Kashmir, but now tulip Garden has become an iconic destination and attraction for them to come and witness the magical experience of 15 lakh fully bloomed flowers of more than 64 varieties planted over 30 hectares in the foothills of Zabarwan, the Lt Governor urged the tourists.
The government is making untiring efforts to revive the tourism industry and socio-economic development of the stakeholders associated with the sector by providing better avenues and livelihood opportunities and making them Atma Nirbhar.
Rs 786 cr has been allocated in the Budget for promotion of Tourism in J&K, which is Rs 509 cr more as compared to the previous year, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor called upon the visiting tourists to carry the fragrance of J&K with them and share their memorable experiences with others.