Of Parks and Tourism - The Chandigarh Clash: Article on Must See India : 2177 | Mustseeindia.com
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Of Parks and Tourism - The Chandigarh Clash

by Madhav Srinivasan 5 year, 8 months ago

Can parks and gardens attract tourists in huge numbers? That is the contentious issue that cropped up recently between the Government of Chandigarh and the Central Government Tourism Ministry.

The Administration of Chandigarh has come up with plans for six more gardens around the city at an expense of several crores. New gardens that are being planned include a Japanese Garden, a Garden of Palms, and a Valley of Animals, and this has not gone down too well with the Union Minister for tourism.

The Scene So Far in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, which is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana and also a Union Territory, has the distinction of being a beautifully laid out city with many enchanting gardens and parks and is a good place to holiday in Punjab.

The city has several parks that attract tourists like the Rock Garden, which has beautiful works of art made entirely out of waste material – industrial and urban waste like broken chinaware and glass. There is also the popular Rose Garden that houses over 1600 varieties of roses.

The Bougainvillea Garden, open since 1976, provides a vibrant display of colors, with around 65 different species of Bougainvillea. There are other magnificent gardens beside these, like the Fitness Trail and Flower Garden and the Garden of Fragrance.Some eyebrows were raised when the Administration came up with six additional plans for gardens within the city. Varieties of Chandigarh tour packages are available. 

The Union Minister’s Views

Its ideas seem to have brought the UT Administration into a confrontation of sorts with the Union Minister for Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahai. While attending the North India Cinematic Tourism Conclave in the city recently, Sahai asserted that the Tourism Ministry believed in giving every help to the State Governments in their efforts to attract tourists. However, he did not find the idea of putting up more gardens to attract tourists a feasible one.

"Parks and gardens can't help increase tourism and city needs big attractions, which can hold visitors and develop it into a world class centre of tourism" said Mr. Sahai.

He said that tourism was a major industry that contributed significantly to the country’s revenue. But, he felt that bigger attractions were needed and that the money would be better spent on plans that would bring in tourists and make them stay.

"Tourism has become the largest revenue generating sectors now and one will have to create such things, which can attract and hold the tourists and get them to spend as much as possible. I am ready to give every kind of help to the city and neighboring states and have told their authorities to come up with big tourism-friendly projects. We have also started our exercise in this regard and are bringing up lots of new things in the upcoming 12th five year plan" Mr. Sahai said.  

Chandigarh has attracted a lot of tourists with its beautiful architecture and gardens. The issue now is on whether the city needs more gardens or whether it should choose other options to attract tourists.

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