Thousands Flock to 28th Garden Tourism Festival in Capital City
By Geeta Goindi
New Delhi, February 20, 2015 — Inaugurating the 28th Garden Tourism Festival, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pledged to work hard on turning the capital city into the “tourism hub” of the nation and putting it on par with developed global cities.
The annual three-day festival organized by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation was held in the south Delhi-based Garden of Five Senses and drew thousands of visitors on picture-perfect days in Spring.
Underscoring the capital city’s “rich cultural heritage”, Chief Minister Kejriwal told the crowd that one of the major goals of his government is to make Delhi “the hub of tourism”, to attract people not just from all over the country, but visitors from round the world.
It will not only enhance the pride of the city, it would also create job opportunities, he noted.
Kejriwal commended the tourism ministry and requested its team “to come up with new ideas to make Delhi a tourism hub”. On his part, he assured any hurdles will be removed which may stand in the way of realizing this goal and making Delhi a world class city.
The Chief Minister urged organizers of the festival and residents of Delhi to spread awareness about environmental issues and take care of their surroundings.
Earlier this month, Kejriwal led the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to a massive victory in the Delhi Assembly election, securing 67 of 70 seats. Speaking of his party’s promises on water, power tariffs and free Wi-Fi, he assured the gathering that they will reach the city’s residents very soon.
“We have prepared a blueprint and very soon will be announcing the good news of reduced rates” for electricity and a free water scheme, he said.
In its manifesto, AAP had promised to cut power tariff by 50 percent and provide 20,000 litres of free water to every household per month.
Kejriwal also disclosed, “We are working on an anti-corruption helpline. When corrupt people are punished, then corruption will be reduced.
So, we are going to give the good news of launching an anti-corruption helpline, reducing electricity tariff and supplying free water very soon”, he said.
When queried about free Wi-Fi, he admitted it will take some time. “My children also ask me everyday about free Wi-Fi”, he said. “It will not take five years. It should be done within a year”.
The Chief Minister thanked an audience, who clearly adored him, for the massive mandate in the Delhi Assembly election. “It is a huge responsibility”, he said. “We are working day and night, round the clock. We will work more, talk less”.
Kejriwal was visibly impressed by the beauty of the garden, and the enchanting festival. Delhi Tourism Minister Jitender Singh Tomar, who was also present on the occasion, noted that the theme, this year, is ‘Landscaping with Hanging Plants’.
Some 400 varieties of flowers and plants were exhibited much to the delight of thousands of visitors. Together with the colorful fauna, the exotic flowers, the festival featured: a painting competition; magic show; and cultural, dance performances every evening.