Efforts will be made to set up Horticultural University

Efforts will be made to form a separate Horticultural University in Tamil Nadu, said Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam.

Laying foundation stone for the Rupee 11.26-crore 40-acre botanical garden at the hill station on Wednesday, the Minister, responding to appeals that a separate university for horticulture should be formed, said that he would discuss the issue with the Chief Minister.

“Like the Veterinary University, a university for horticulture also could be formed,” he said.

Saying that the State Government had undertaken various welfare works, including new parks for the benefit of people who would wish to spend their time amidst Nature peacefully, the Minister pointed out that works to form new and upgrade the existing parks all over the State were being undertaken at a cost of Rupee 47.20 crore.

A new park at Courtallam at a cost of Rupee 5.92 crore would be set up for which the foundation stone had been laid.

A park at a cost of Rupee 5.93 crore was being set up at Madavaram at Chennai while a sum of Rupee 1.59 crore was being spent to upgrade the one at Kodaikanal and Rupee 1.50 crore at Ooty.

A world standard park was coming up near Anna overbridge in Chennai. “These works, on instructions from the Chief Minister, are being undertaken all over Tamil Nadu,” he added.

On the tourism front, 10.67 lakhs besides 7,476 foreign tourists visited Tamil Nadu in 2009 while in 2005 a mere 2.25 lakh and 240 foreign nationals came to the State.

The foreign exchange earnings for the State also had recorded a steep hike of Rupee 6,796 crore in 2009. “The robust growth in tourism is due to various development works being undertaken all over the State, including places of tourist interest,” he said.

He urged the officials concerned to complete the works in Botanical Garden here within eight months so that it could attract more number of tourists to Yercaud from the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

He also distributed welfare assistance to 755 beneficiaries at a cost of Rupee 23.45 lakh. Principal Secretary P. Rama Mohana Rao presided.

Commissioners C. Kosalraman and Atul Anand, Director of Horticulture B. Chandra Mohan, Salem Collector J. Chandrakumar, MPs K.P. Ramalingam and Adi Shankar, MLA C. Tamilselvan, Salem Mayor J. Rekha Priyadarshini and Deputy Director E. Kakkan spoke.

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