The 40th Rose Festival has been embroiled in one controversy or another ever since its organisation and planning was handed over to the Municipal Corporation. While earlier the councillors were at loggerheads with the officers over the expenditure to be incurred,the media briefing about the Rose Festival turned into a platform for leveling allegations.
The councillors had earlier raised objections when the officers presented a budget of around Rs 50 lakh for the event. It was stated that no councillor was involved in the preparations. Thereafter the budget was slashed to Rs 35 lakh and a committee was constituted under the Mayor to oversee the preparations.
Councillor Harjinder Kaur said that the officers should answer as to why no importance was given to the former chief commissioner Dr M S Randhawa in the past Rose Festivals and what was being done now. The officers as well as the Mayor and other members of the Finance and Contract Committee seemed to be taken aback by the sudden outburst.
Kaur said that the Rose Garden was developed under the guidance of Dr Randhawa,but had never been remembered when the festival was held. The officials made attempts at damage control stating that it was a suggestion that they would keep in mind.
The three-day Rose Festival being organised by the Municipal Corporation along with the Department of Tourism,UT Administration will be inaugurated on February 24. Competitions like Rose Prince and Princess,brass and pipe band competition,rose quiz competition,folk dance competition,photography competition and kite-flying are among some of the competitions that will be held during the event.
Municipal Commissioner Prerna Puri,Mayor Raj Bala Malik and General Manager (Tourism) A K Malhotra gave details of the events that will take place.
For the first time,two new events have been added. These include the Mr and Miss Rose Chandigarh competitions and a floral hat competition. Three cultural nights will also be organised featuring performances by Punjabi singer Amarinder Gill,Bollywood singer Abhijeet and Aditi Paul. The events in the evening will be held at the Leisure Valley.