Tourists flock to Yercaud festival

YERCAUD: The three-day summer and flower festival, which concluded here on Sunday, attracted 7,657 tourists from far and near.

Inaugurated by Commercial Taxes Minister S. N. Ubayadulla and presided over by the Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam on May 28, the festival featured nearly one lakh flowers of different varieties to woo the tourists.

The main attractions in the festival were Micky Mouse, Standing Queen, Flying Horse etc – all made of flowers.

Art and cultural events were also performed.

From THE HINDU

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Yercaud gears up to host summer festival

Events being planned will highlight tribal culture and feature folk arts

Summer festival begins on May 28 – It is expected to draw many tourists

YERCAUD: A measure of tribal culture and liberal sprinkling of folk arts from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh will be perfectly blended with the hoary past of Tamil tradition to provide a dash of colour to the three-day summer and flower festival, which starts at this hill station on May 28.

Eco-friendly vehicle: Collector J. Chandrakumar operating the new battery-powered car for tourists in Yercaud on Tuesday. - Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

With works related to the conduct of the festival nearing completion, the hill station is gearing up for the festival, which is expected to draw huge tourist flow from far and near.

Collector J. Chandrakumar on Tuesday inspected the on-going preparatory works and inaugurated a Rs. 4.28 lakh battery-operated car, a new arrival for this year’s festival, for elders and tiny-tots.

This could pick up speed up to 60 kilometres per hour and cover a distance of 35 kilometres.

Flowers in Anna Park and in other places of tourists’ attractions have exploded into myriad colours captivating the visitors.

With the sun resuming its scorching heat, especially after the ‘Laila’ factor, the arrival of tourists has increased manifold.

To beat the heat, they have started thronging the hill station.

“We are having hundred per cent occupancy for the past 15 days. We expect more during the festival season,” a hotelier said.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Corporation is also organizing different games in Boat house.

A press release adds that it also plan to undertake desilting works at a cost of Rs. 1 crore.

Already for the benefits of eco-sensitive and fitness-crazy tourists, a bi-cycle tour also is in place atop the hill station.

Besides, the tourists would be encouraged to go trekking and also ‘greening’ the hill station by planting a sapling for Rs. 300, which would be named after them.

The Salem district administration has left no stone unturned for the successful conduct of the festival.

Various competitions and programmes such as dog, flower and cattle shows, display of self-help group products, boat races, cultural events, Tamil literary debates, dance by differently-abled by actor Kingkong troupe, and drama by cine star S. Ve. Sekar will form part of the lengthy list of festival activities.

The only faulty line in the entire exercise is the lack of proper sanitation.

Garbage and pig sties are the eyesores here. The Collector has instructed officials to address the problem immediately.

He stressed that safety of tourists should be on the primary agenda of all concerned. The ghat roads have been declared one-way for traffic.

From THE HINDU

Yercaud witnesses a tourist boom

YERCAUD: This summer the hill station of Yercaud is witnessing a boom in tourist flow after a lull of two years.

The flow of tourists from Karnataka, the mainstay of the hill station’s economy, and from its other major source, Kerala, has started showing a healthy upward trend this year and hoteliers and others connected with the tourism industry are a happy lot. As the Karnataka tourists stay for a minimum of three to four days to enjoy the salubrious climate, occupancy in hotels has now touched 100 per cent during weekends and nearly 90 per cent on week days. So do the allied industries, which are also buoyant.

The raging row over the Hogenekkal Drinking Water Project between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and recession in IT industry had hit tourism in this hill station very hard for two consequent years – 2008 and 2009. The number of tourists from Karnataka, especially Bangalore, had gone down substantially.

Yercaud during those two years wore a haunted look. Missing were the youngsters working in IT giants, their trendy sedans and roaring sporty bikes. Only 25 per cent of the rooms were booked in those two years.

“The years of despair have gone. The industry suffered a heavy loss then,” recollects a leading hotelier who fondly hopes to cash in on the revival of the tourism industry this year. He has heavily invested atop the hills on nearly 600 rooms with tariff ranging from Rs. 800 to Rs. 12,000 a day during the peak season.

Many have started promoting eco tourism with resorts amid high trees and green coffee plantations. An official in Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, which operates boats in the picturesque Yercaud lake, says tourists are even encouraged to plant saplings around the lake. The district administration, which is planning to hold Summer Festival during the third week of May, is optimistic of breaking this year the previous records of tourist arrival.

R. Ilangovan From THE HINDU

Salem: Forest Department cautions public

SALEM: As summer has started parching the earth, the officials from Department of Forests have launched their routine annual exercise of making the public aware of bush fires in Shevaroyan and other hills surround the city and district.

Team

On Saturday, a team of officials distributed handbills asking the public not to carry inflammable articles and irresponsibly throw lighted sticks and half-burnt cigarette butts that used to cause heavy damages to the flora and fauna of the forests in Shevaroyan and other hills.

The tourists were also asked to be responsible while they enjoyed Yercaud atop the hills. They asked the villages surrounding the foot hills also to be ever vigilant.

Had any one spot the fire, they should inform the Forest officials immediately. Tom-tom was also carried out in these villages. School children also were roped in for the campaign.

Emergency numbers

The District Forest office also provided phone numbers for emergency calls.

They are: Salem: 0427-2415097; Asthampatti: 98425 14215; Yercaud: 94432 65748; Danishpet: 94426 39636; Mettur: 94436 35936 and Pappireddipatti: 94422 63426.

From THE HINDU

Salem: Campaign on prevention of bush fires in forest areas

Officials speak to people in Shevaroyan hills and other areas near Salem

SALEM: As summer has started parching the earth, the officials from the Department of Forests have also launched their routine annual exercise of making the public aware of bush fires in Shevaroyan and other hills surrounding the city and district.

Preventive measure: Forest officials launching awareness campaign against wild fires by distributing handbills at the foothills of Yercaud in Salem on Saturday. — Photo: P. Goutham

On Saturday a team of officials distributed handbills asking the public not to carry inflammable articles and irresponsibly throw lighted sticks and half-burnt cigarette butts that used to cause heavy damage to the flora and fauna of the forests in Shevaroyan and other hills.

The tourists also were asked to be responsible while they enjoyed Yercaud atop the hills.

In addition to this, the officials also asked the villagers surrounding the foot hills to be ever vigilant.

Tom-tom campaign was also carried out in these villages. School children also were brought in to spread the message.

The District Forest office also provided phone numbers for emergency calls.

They are: Salem: 0427-2415097; Asthampatti: 98425 14215; Yercaud: 94432 65748; Danishpet: 94426 39636; Mettur: 94436 35936 and Pappireddipatti: 94422 63426.

From THE HINDU

Rain continues in Salem, Namakkal

SALEM: Many parts of Salem and Namakkal districts received moderate rain on Monday.

The sky remained cloudy and many parts in the two districts experienced chill winds accompanying the incessant rains. Salem city and its suburbs got light showers. Two houses in the city collapsed on Sunday night. No one were injured.

Rainfall

The water level in tanks and lakes in the two districts rose.

In the last 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. on Monday, Gengavalli recorded a maximum rainfall of 40 mm. Rainfall recorded in various other parts is as follows (in mm): Mettur – 32.20, Yercaud – 30, Edapadi – 22, Vazhapadi – 12, Salem – 11.7, Attur – 10.6 and Omalur 10.20.

From THE HINDU

Heavy Rain in Salem

Heavy rain that occurred in spells, accompanied by strong winds, lashed Salem city and its suburbs for nearly an hour on Saturday 31st of October.

Colonies inundated as drainage channels overflow

SALEM: Heavy rain that occurred in spells, accompanied by strong winds, lashed Salem city and its suburbs for nearly an hour on Saturday.

Traffic Hit

The rains inundated low-lying areas and caused severe hardship to school-going children and office-goers, who had to struggle to avoid getting wet and also wading through stagnant pools of rainwater that formed in various places.

Traffic was affected inside the city limits.

Health Hazard

The roads and streets went under the knee-deep water mixed with waste from sewers, posing serious health hazard to citizens. Almost all the drainage channels remained choked with plastic waste for long.

Action 

The civic body had not taken any concrete effort to clear them to ensure free flow of waste water.

As a result, after the rain, the channels overflowed with sewage and entered residential localities.

The hill station Yercaud also experienced rain.

The city experienced heavy rain only on Saturday.

From THE HINDU