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“U’khand all set to become a leading flower state”

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Gov, CM inaugurate ‘Vasantotsav-2023’ at Raj Bhawan

By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 3 Mar: Governor Lt General Gurmit Singh (Retd) and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami inaugurated ‘Vasantotsav-2023’at the Raj Bhawan, here, today. Agriculture Minister Ganesh Joshi, First Lady Gurmit Kaur and the Chief Minister’s wife, Geeta Dhami, were among those present on the occasion.

The Governor and the Chief Minister formally inaugurated the three day Vasantotsav by cutting a string of flowers and releasing colourful balloons, symbolising peace, in the air. The Governor also released a short film made on ‘Nakshatra Vatika’, an orchard based on the theme of the Zodiac located in the Raj Bhavan premises.

As has been the trend at the Vasantotsav, the Postal Department also released a special postal cover on this occasion. This year, the postal cover is on the Timru plant, which grows in the hills of Uttarakhand and has several medicinal properties.

A toll free farmers’ helpline number – 18003135685 – was also launched by the Horticulture Department to solve the problems of the farmers.

The Horticulture Department’s book, ‘Dry Flower Business’, was also released at the programme.

On the inaugural day of the Spring Festival, the IMA band mesmerised everyone with its melodious tunes. This was followed by an enchanting Khukri dance performed by soldiers of the Gorkha Rifles. Students of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya (Haridwar) performed Yoga exercises before the audience. Later, ITBP jawans enthralled the audience with a wonderful display of Karate.

The Governor, the Chief Minister and the Agriculture Minister went around the various stalls put up at the Vasantotsav exhibition. The Governor met the children participating in the painting competition at the main pandal of the ceremony. The Governor observed that, this year, a different level of enthusiasm is being seen among the people regarding the three-day Vasantotsav. He said that, last year, 200 business establishments/self-help groups had participated in the festival, but the number of participants has gone up to 535 this year. He said that the local products of Uttarakhand as well as agro-products of the state would be promoted through this festival.

Singh said that the flowers here have a unique beauty and divinity and the fact that even more farmers are taking up floriculture in the state is an indicator that Uttarakhand will become a flower state in the coming times. The Governor praised the Chief Minister and the Agriculture Minister and said that the plans made by them for the state and the participation of everyone have been ensured, due to which a new revolution is sure to come in the horticulture sector. He appealed to the people to visit the festival and enjoy the beauty of flowers as well as see the local Uttarakhand products on display here.

Speaking on this occasion, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami congratulated everyone concerned on the occasion of Vasantotsav and said that event also gives a message to people to connect with nature and encourages people to conserve the environment. He said that with this type of festival, people doing good work in various fields including agriculture and horticulture get an opportunity to showcase their products. He said that, through the Vasantotsav, farmers will also be encouraged, even as local products would be promoted.

There were 698 participants in the cut flower (traditional) competition, 191 participants in cut flower (non-traditional) category, 22 in potted plant category including large and small private nurseries, hobbyists and the central and state institutions, 42 in loose flower category, 17 in potted plant (non-flower) category, 13 in Cactus & Succulent Category, 27 entries in Hanging Pot Category, 22 in On the Spot Photography, 17 in Lawn Category, 8 in Fresh Petal Rangoli, while 946 persons participated in the Painting competition. Some new categories were introduced this year. Among these, there are 12 entries in the category of rooftop vegetable production, 23 entries in the Bonsai category, 7 in the terrarium category and 33 in the honey category. A total of 2076 entries were seen in a total of 62 subcategories of 16 categories. The first, second and third prizes in these competitions will be awarded on Sunday. The juries in each category judged the entries but the winners will be awarded on Sunday.

A total of 413 stalls were set up by government and private institutions/individuals at the Raj Bhavan, in which various government institutions displayed their activities at 18 stalls and 395 business establishments/self-help groups and nurseries also put up their stalls. Distributers of tools, equipment and machinery related to agriculture and horticulture and products such as seeds, biofertilisers, organic pesticides and fungicides also displayed their goods. Wheel chair facility was also made available by the Red Cross Society for use by disabled people.

A buyer-seller meeting was also organised by the Uttarakhand Horticulture Board today at Raj Bhawan to establish direct coordination between flower growers and flower buyers. Farmers from all the districts of the state participated in today’s programme and, along with the officials from all the districts, the general public also participated in large number. In order to facilitate the food and drink of the common people in the Vasantotsav, the department, like the previous years, through IHM and GIHM and other organisations, arranged various kinds of delicious, nutritious, quality dishes in the food court, in which special attention was given to hygiene and sanitisation.

Also present on this occasion were Secretary to the Governor, Ravinath Raman, Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Dr BVRC Purushottam, Joint Secretary, Agriculture, Sumahima, Director, Horticulture, Dr HS Baweja, Director, Aromatic Plants Centre, Dr Nipendra Chauhan, Director, Silk, AK Chauhan, Additional Director Dr JC Kem, Joint Director, Horticulture, Dr Ratan Kumar, Dr Suresh Ram, Dr Brijesh Gupta along with officers of the Horticulture Department and other dignitaries.