Chandigarh gears up for rose festival


Chandigarh : Flower exhibits, painting, photography competition and much more – the union territory of Chandigarh is gearing up for the Rose Festival-2009, a three day festival starting Feb 20.

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“This year we have plans to organise this annual festival in a big way. During this three-day festival, many cultural and musical activities have been planned for which we have invited celebrated artists from all across the country,” Ram Niwas, home secretary of Chandigarh, told mediapersons here.

The Rose Garden is one of the major tourist destinations here and is thronged by hundreds of tourists – both domestic and foreign – everyday. This is the 37th Rose Festival of Chandigarh.

This time besides the usual flower show where nearly 50 exotic varieties of roses will be exhibited, there will be a photography contest, a painting competition, a fashion show on the theme of roses, a quiz, live concerts and antakshri to entertain the visitors.

Niwas said: “Recently the Rose Garden has also been sanctioned a grant of Rs.26.9 million (Rs.2.69 crore) by the union ministry of tourism for refurbishing the facilities in the garden.”

He added that a huge chunk of this grant will be spent on the illumination of the garden, developing special beds of exotic varieties of roses and in establishing a knowledge centre for children.

“Keeping in mind the cleanliness and beauty of the garden, this year no commercial activity will be allowed inside the garden during the festival. All the stalls like food court, shopping arcade and amusement park will be put up in the adjoining Leisure Valley,” said Niwas.

Talking about the security measures during the festival, Madhur Verma, assistant superintendent of police, said: “Security of the visitors is of utmost importance for us. CCTV cameras will be installed at all the entrance and exit points.”

“Eight police machans (view-towers) will be built for overall view of the garden. We will have two police control rooms inside the garden. Our officials will be there in the public in civil clothes to keep an eye on any anti-social activity,” Verma said.