Minister for Public Works, Floriculture and Gardens & Parks Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari today stressed on the Floriculture department to make the Tulip garden as an all season garden and sanctioned Rs 4 Crores for the cold storage facility for a better post harvest management. While conducting an extensive tour of the Tulip and Cheshmashahi Gardens here, Bukhari desired that the Floriculture department should focus on propagation of Tulip bulbs and within next five to six years the Jammu and Kashmir should become self reliant in production of Tulip bulbs and also open it for the general sale to the public. For this purpose, the Minister instructed the director Floriculture to create a cold storage facility by May 2016 for better post harvest management and sanctioned Rs 4 Crores for this purpose. The Minister ordered for establishment of a Centre of Excellence for floral and bulb propagation and instructed the director Floriculture to formulate a Detailed Project Report in consultation with the experts in the fields of floriculture and horticulture. Mr. Bukhari said that the state government will take up the matter with the government of India for funding of the project under Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for the export of the floral produce of the state to the global market. “In next five years, Jammu and Kashmir should become a self reliant State in production of Tulip bulbs by reducing the level of import of Tulip Bulbs to zero,” the Minister stressed on the departmental officers. Earlier while visiting the plant introduction section of the Garden, Bukhari instructed Floriculture officers that the land available (around 100 Kanals) be fully utilized for a modern type of nursery and all the hybrid flowers as well as endemic species of plants should be propagated and made available for planting in departmental gardens and parks and also to be made available to open sale for enhancement in revenue generation. The Minister also instructed the director Floriculture to fully utilize the high tech poly houses for timely availability of seedlings and also to utilize these poly houses for plant propagation. The director Floriculture was further instructed to ensure round the clock power supply to these poly houses and to install a generator for its backup immediately. While inspecting the Tulip Garden the Minister directed that the underdeveloped portion of the Garden should be utilized for cultivation of crops like Lilium, Dahlia, Crocus, Daffodil and various other varieties of flowers. Besides these the sloppy areas of the Garden should be utilized for orchard plantation for which high yielding varieties of fruit trees like cherry, apple, berries, walnuts, plum, almonds, chest nuts, pecan nuts etc. While taking the tour of Botanical Garden the minister directed that the Tulip area and the Botanical Garden are should be integrated as a full-fledged resort for tourists by establishing various theme gardens and also to explore possibility of developing an eco resort in the Botanical Garden. During the inspection of Herbal Garden section, Bukhari directed that the activity in this section should be enhanced beyond the demonstrations and to take them to the commercial lines by exploring the possibility of involving the private stake holders in the development of various theme gardens in this section. The Minister also instructed director Floriculture to take up the works of cleanliness of the mini lake in the Garden and to make it more attractive by adding features like topiary works, laser shows and by way of introducing food courts. He further instructed that the parking area be cleaned and expanded for accommodating more vehicles and also realign the existing food joints, souvenir kiosks. While appreciating the shortage of the human resources in the department, the Minister instructed the director floriculture to explore the possibility of involving private players in the development and maintenance of different sections of the garden. The minister also instructed for introduction of few exotic species of plants suitable to the agro climatic conditions of Kashmir and also to conserve the endemic flora of the Valley for posterity.
2015 Kashmir Despatch