Saturday, October 13, 2007

Flower fest in Sikkim

Gangtok, Oct. 12: The town will host an international flower festival in March 2008, said chief minister Dr.Pawan Chamling, as part of his government’s efforts to develop Sikkim as a floriculture state.
“Flower-producing countries from all over the world will participate,” Dr.Chamling told reporters in Gangtok. “The festival will feature exotic varieties of flowers, orchids and other plants of Sikkim. We are trying to get the President, Prathiba Patil, to inaugurate the event.”
The festival is timed when the hill state will be in full bloom with its wide array of flowers, including more than 450 species of orchids, around 150 varieties of gladioli and over 40 types of rhododendrons, along with a variety of magnolias.
Dr.Chamling said his government is working on developing Sikkim as a floriculture state.
“Tourism in the state will get another dimension if it is linked with floriculture,” he said.
“We are involving a larger number of people in the floriculture business,” the chief minister added. “Besides helping those who are into production, we are also providing aid to people in allied trades. We have recently started a course in bouquet-making too.”
Festivals, Dr.Chamling said, are one of the ways of making Sikkim a happening place for tourists.
“We have a festival every two months,” he said. “We will be organising more — related to food, culture and lives of the people — in future. After all, the uniqueness of Sikkim lies not just in its natural beauty, but also in its life and people.”
The Sikkim chief minister said his government is keen on promoting private investment in the tourism sector.