After spending three sleepless nights, 200 officials of State Horticulture department, who had mobilised several tonnes of flowers and vegetables to decorate the coastal town of Mahabalipuram, are now a relieved lot after successfully wrapping up the India-China summit.
“It’s a prestigious event and we utilised all our resources. For the first time, steel frames were used for vegetable arches to ensure stability. Four tonnes of steel were brought to fix the arches. The fresh vegetables and fruits were directly harvested from farms. They will be auctioned after dismantling,” State Agriculture department secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi told DT Next. Director of Horticulture and Plantation N Subbaiyan shortlisted 18 types of vegetables, weighing 3.5 tonnes, ranging from plantain, capsicum, carrot, pumpkin, brinjal, cucumber and radish that were used to design the vegetable arches set up at vantage points.
Banana clusters were procured from delta districts and the vegetables were transported a day before the decoration work. Four types of hybrid roses were procured. Each arch with more than 2,000 roses were made just a few hours before the arrival of delegation so that they remained fresh, said Horticulture department officials Thamizh Vendhan and Kannan. Staffers were pressed into service for spraying water till their arrival.
“The fruit arch near Five Rathas and the vegetable arch were about 55 feet wide with a height of 27 feet to ensure that the vehicles passed through easily. The decoration work required a week-long planning and logistics,” said horticultural officer Immanuel. When asked about the overall expense, Gagandeep Singh Bedi said that the costs were yet to be worked out.