After CM Bommai Banned Presenting of Bouquets, Flowers, Garlands, SIFA Protested to Withdraw such Ban

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After CM Bommai Banned Presenting of Bouquets, Flowers, Garlands, South India Floriculture Association (SIFA) in Bengaluru Protested to Withdraw such Ban. CM Bommai has also directed party members not to put up any HOARDINGS during his or any state ministers visit.

Mangaluru: On the outset a BIG THANK YOU to CM Basavaraj Bommai for his bold decision to ban the presentation of bouquets, garlands, and also putting up hoardings welcoming him or any state ministers, for that matter- it was nothing but a waste of people’s money on such gestures to please a VIP. Basavaraj Bommai banned the presentation of bouquets, flowers, garlands and other perishable items like fruit baskets at official functions. The CM called such gifts a “wasteful expenditure” I have said that there is no need for a Guard of Honour at airports and other public places, It is not required at the district level every time I visit. I will issue directions soon after going to Bengaluru tomorrow,” said Bommai. Speaking in Mangaluru at the Airport to the media, the CM said that he would soon issue an order banning guard of honour given to him and other ministers at every district and public place during their visits. Bommai asked officials in Mangaluru that there was no need for such a “pompous show”.

The Chief Minister said that gifting memorabilia, garlands and shawls, were an unnecessary expenditure and insisted that officials give Kannada books instead. The Chief Secretary had issued a circular directing not to give garland, shawls, flower bouquets, fruit baskets, and memorabilia at meetings and events by the state government and the government-run institutions. All department heads and government undertakings have been asked to comply with the directions. Meanwhile, members of the South India Floriculture Association (SIFA), flower and fruit growers, and vendors staged a protest, demanding Bommai to withdraw his order banning the presentation of bouquets, flowers, garlands and other perishable items like fruit baskets at official functions.

SIFA termed Bommai’s order “unscientific” and called it a direct assault on flower-growers who are one of the worst-affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitterati was divided on the decision, with netizens taking sides with flower and fruit growers and vendors, while some hailed the decision. Flower growers and sellers staged a protest at the International Flower Auction Centre, Hebbal, Bengaluru on Thursday, demanding the government withdraw the ban it has imposed on the use of garlands, bouquets and fruit baskets at its programmes.

In a circular on August 10, Karnataka chief secretary P Ravi Kumar had directed that garlands, shawls, bouquets, fruit baskets and memorabilia should not be distributed at meetings and events organised by the state government and government-run institutions. President of South India Floriculture Association TM Aravind said: “We’re already in deep financial distress due to two lockdowns imposed by the government. The ban has come as a big blow to lakhs of farmers cultivating flowers for their livelihood.”

Suresh Pai, a flower shop owner inside the Car Street Flower Market in Mangaluru said, “With no weddings taking place during the pandemic, we have suffered a lot. And now CM coming up with his decision to ban the presentation of flowers, bouquets etc to the VIP’s during events will surely hurt us more. We had a good business supplying flowers, bouquets, and garlands to the political parties in the City, and since the CM’s announcement a few days ago, there has not been a single order for flowers from any political party in the City. I hope the CM will consider our plight in this drastic pandemic time, and reverse his decision banning flower presentation during events”.

About 7,500 hectares of land is under flower cultivation in the state and more than 150,000 farmers are involved in floriculture, he said. Bengaluru is India’s floriculture hub and vast varieties of flowers are exported to various countries from here, he pointed out. Srikant Bolapalli, president of Flower Council of India, said floriculture creates job opportunities for several people in rural and urban areas. Members of South India Floriculture Association, Karnataka State Exotic, Flower Grower and Sellers Association, Flower Traders Association and farmers’ organisations participated in the agitation.

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