Governor briefs media on Vasantotsav
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 5 Mar: Raj Bhawan shall hold its annual two day Spring Festival on 8 and 9 March this year. Called Vasantotsava, the major centre of attraction at the Spring Festival is the Annual Flower show. Usually spring and winter flowering seasonal flowers and vegetables are showcased under various categories in the flower show. Besides the flower show, other cultural activities are also held as part of the spring festival and they include painting competition for children, a philately exhibition and a cultural evening to be hosted by the Culture Department.
In this regard, Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmit Singh briefed the media at Raj Bhawan today. The Governor said that the Spring Festival which was initiated at the Raj Bhawan in 2003, had now become the identity of Dehradun. This event which started as a flower show had become a popular event in the calendar of the state and had now turned into a big cultural and economic festival.
He highlighted the fact that the geographical conditions and available climate of the state of Uttarakhand were suitable for flower production. Floriculture was a high value crop agriculture activity. He said that before the formation of Uttarakhand state, flower production was done in only 150 hectare area, which had increased to 1609.93 hectare at present, in which apart from rose, marigold, tuberose, gerbera, carnation, gladiolus, lilium, chrysanthemum, Commercial production of orchids were also being cultivated. At present, about 3022.90 metric tonnes of loose flowers (rose, marigold, tuberose and others) and 14.43 crore cut flowers were being produced in the state. Presently in the state, trade of flowers worth Rs 250.00 crores was being done. Secretary Dr. Meenakshi Sundaram and Director Horticulture Dr HS Baweja were also present during the press briefing by the Governor.
The Governor and the Secretary Horticulture R Meenakshi Sundaram informed the media that the major activities at the Vasantotsav would be various competitions under categories such as Cut flowers, Potted Plants Management, Loose Flower Management, Potted Plants Other than Flowers, Cacti & Succulents, Hanging Pots, Flower pots, On the Spot Photography, Fresh Flower Petal Rangoli, Edible Flowers Competition and the competition in the category of best lawns. Besides this, a painting competition for schools and other children of age group 5 to 18 years would also be held.
In the category of above 12 main competitions, there are total 51 sub-categories, in which first, second and third prizes will be given. Thus, a total of 153 prizes will be awarded to the winners on March 9, 2022 after the decision of the jury. This year Yamuna Tulsi/Kunj (Artemisia vulgaris) has been selected for the special cover, which will be unveiled on March 08, 2022 at the inauguration of Vasantotsav in collaboration with the Department of Posts. Yamuna Tulsi is a perennial aromatic plant, which reaches a height of about 1.5 meters, its branches are green or dark red, brown and purple in colour. This plant is considered very sacred in the dhams located in the mountainous regions. This plant is offered to Goddess Yamuna at Yamunotri Dham. For the first time this year, the competition of pots has also been included.
Agricultural/horticultural universities established in the state as well as central institutions have also been invited to participate in the event. The research work being done in the field of flowers by the agricultural/horticultural universities established in the state will be demonstrated through stalls. For the first time this year, latest technology related to horticulture (vertical gardening, hydroponic and aeroponic) will be demonstrated through Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar and FRI. This year, for the first time, a Coffee Table Book has been prepared with the title “Do You Know?” regarding the usefulness and characteristics of various flowers. For the first time this year, state birds/animals etc. are being made on the lines of PWD, Delhi with floral decorations in the exhibition. Prominent bouquet makers, garland makers and those doing business by preparing other items made of flowers are also being invited during the Spring Festival. For the first time this year, arrangements for flute playing and saxophone will be made by the Department of Culture at different places in the Raj Bhavan premises. For the first time this year, 05 selected farmers/producers who have done excellent work under various activities related to horticulture will be honoured as brand ambassadors by awarding them with mementos.
Competition of edible flowers like rose, hibsicus, rhododendron, strawberry blossom, etc., has been included in the spring festival. Due to the selection of bakery products under “One District One Product” in Dehradun district, edible flowers suitable for bakery products have also been included in the competition for the first time.
About 30 departments of the state will also participate in this two-day event, in which apart from the Horticulture Department, various research institutes / agricultural universities / boards / corporations, etc., will be prominent. In addition to the above, various firms producing horticultural equipment, biofertilizer, biological pest control have been invited. NGOs/self-help groups/local producer organizations associated with horticulture activities will also display their programmes/products.
Culture Department, Uttarakhand will organise a cultural evening of one hour on the first day in the evening. Bands of the Indian Military Institute, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and PSC will be the main centre of attraction. In this two-day event, for the convenience of people’s food and drink, as in previous years, IHM and GIHM and other organisations will arrange for packed food in the food court and no seating arrangement will be made, special attention will be given to hygiene and sanitation. The entire Vasantotsav programme will be kept polythene free. 10 wheel chairs will be arranged in Raj Bhawan premises for differently abled children and arrangements for thermal scanning machines, masks and sanitizers will be made at the main entrance of Raj Bhawan. Persons/visitors without masks will not be allowed to enter the Raj Bhawan premises.
An initiative has been taken to promote horticulture in urban areas through ‘Vertical Garden’ in Vasantotsav, in which the cultivation of flowers and organic vegetables will be displayed in less space, especially in the terrace/balcony of the house. To establish direct coordination between flower growers and flower buyers, a buyer-seller meeting is being organized by the Uttarakhand Horticulture Board. Stalls will be set up by ITBP to provide information about various management techniques for disaster and its rescue.