Sunday, July 18, 2010

Himachal to supply exotic flowers for Games

Himachal Pradesh will supply its exotic flowers to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. The state has secured an order worth Rs 31 crore for the purpose.

“This is a big opportunity for us, which we will have to encash. The Horticulture department is compiling a district-wise list of growers who can get direct orders for supplying flowers during the Games,” said state’s Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta.

Till now, districts like Solan, Sirmaur, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra and Chamba have taken a lead in the cultivation of best varieties of flowers. With farmers switching over to polyhouses, Bilaspur is now way ahead in the race.

Himachal currently grows marigolds, carnations, tulips, lilies, gladioli, chrysanthemums and roses. Last year, over 680 hectares of land was under flower cultivation with at least 3,000 farmers making a business of Rs 45 crore. Carnations and roses will be in big demand during the Games.

To facilitate the flower producers, the government has made the Horticulture Produce Processing and Marketing Corporation (HPMC) the nodal agency to assess the demand and help growers in its marketing.

“Five districts have already sent us a list of growers, which will be provided to the HPMC,” said B S Guleria, a horticulture official.

In Chamba, the Churah Valley Farmers Cooperative, which has already made its name in the cultivation and marketing of flowers from the state’s most backward block, is likely to get a big share of the orders.

“The society has a turnover of over Rs 1 crore. We are leaders in the flower market in Delhi. Our samples were adjudged best in some foreign countries,” said J C Sharma, who is the brain behind Churah valley’s flower revolution.

Solan is another potential floriculture belt where farmers are excited about the order. Atam Swaroop, a farmer at Mahog, said: “I have planted one lakh carnations and 50,000 to 60,000 chrysanthemum plants. The annual turnover from these flowers is around Rs 25 lakh.” He hopes the Games will bring him additional orders.

Nalagarh and Kandaghat farmers have also diversified into floriculture, getting good returns.

Games will generate $4,940 million: PwC

The Commonwealth Games in Delhi is expected to rake in more money that the previous editions held in Manchester and Melbourne, says a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India. In fact, while the athletes compete at the venues across the city, business delegations from 54 countries will be engaged in talks and deliberations during the during the Games fortnight. 
While the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games generated business worth $3,400 million, the next edition in Melbourne could make just a modest $1,600 million. But Delhi is expected to break all records and earn $4,940 million, says a PricewaterhouseCoopers India study done for the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. The Games will also generate a total of 2.47 million jobs, great news as most countries are just crawling out of the economic slowdown.

Although, the Delhi Police had raised questions over holding business meets during the games fortnight, the Organising Committee insists that it will go ahead as they are a part of the Games calendar and cannot be put off. The Committee is now trying to rope in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to address during the inaugural business session.

“It will be a unique opportunity for the business delegation from across the world to interact. More over, the world wants to know more about the Indian economy, which has remained strong even during the recession,” said T S Darbari, joint director Organising Committee, who also heads the Business Club of India. 

The business meets will concentrate on key issues like green manufacturing and water technologies, luxury goods, infrastructure, medical tourism, oil, gas, energy and power. In the run up to the event, roadshows will be organised in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai in August and Mumbai in September.

Business schedule

October 7 Green Manufacturing and Water Technologies, Luxury Goods Forum 

October 8 Infrastructure Conclave with session on energy, power, oil and gas October 11 Tourism Conclave

October 12 Conference on Education, IT and skills

October 13 Cuisine and Commerce, Food safety and Nutrition

MS Gill inaugurates swimming pool complex for Commonwealth Games

Union sports and youth affairs minister MS Gill on Sunday inaugurated the ‘remodelled and reconstructed’ Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex, one of the venues for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, at the Delhi University campus.

The function was held in the presence of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, several sports persons and senior sports ministry officials.

“This is an outstanding complex and a remarkable engineering marvel. It is equipped with all the modern facilities even better than the Melbourne Games,” Gill said.

The complex, which was constructed in 1982 to hold the Asian Games, has been upgraded and renovated with state of art facilities to meet the international standards required for hosting world-class aquatic events.

With a total seating capacity of 5000 spectators, the complex now has the largest cohestrand supported, breathable and elliptical shaped aluminum roof.

It is the largest covered aquatic stadium in the country having Olympic-sized racing and diving pools with a six lanes warm up pool.

The 12-day sporting extravaganza will be India's biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.

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