The 31st Surajkund International Crafts Mela commenced with over 20 countries participating in the popular fair.
More than 20 countries from Europe, Africa and South Asia are participating in the fortnight-long mega event fromFebruary 1 to 15. Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Tunisia, Mongolia andSouth Africa will make their debut at the fair this year.
The Mela will be inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Chairman, Surajkund Mela Authority, Vinod Zutshi told reporters at Chaupal, Surajkund Mela Ground.
He said Tourism and Culture Minister, Jharkhand, AmarKumar Bauri, Ambassador of Egypt to India, Hatem Tageldin, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Krishan Pal Gujjar, Haryana Industries Minister Vipul Goel, among others would grace the occasion.
Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, and ViceChairperson, Surajkund Mela Authority, V S Kundu said keeping pace with the Digital India initiative, the Mela entry tickets are available at online portal 'Bookmyshow'.
"The offline ticket sale is also strengthened to ensure convenience of visitors with minimal waiting time at the gates. The number of ticket counters at mela grounds have been increased to avoid queues. As a Corporate SocialResponsibility initiative, the Surajkund Mela Authority provides 50 per cent rebate on the entry tickets to differently-abled, senior citizens, serving soldiers, warwidows and their dependents," he said.
Similarly, to encourage youth participation, a discount of 50 per cent on entry tickets will be given to college students on weekdays on producing valid ID cards. A free ferry service for visitors has been extended throughout the Mela from different areas of Faridabad and metro stations in the vicinity.
Kundu said special too and fro bus services will be available to Surajkund from ISBT Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, Gurgaon and Faridabad.
Also, bus service from Ballabgarh to Tughlakabad metro station via Surajkund and vice versa, as well as from Badarpurmetro station to Surajkund and back is made available on a 30minutes interval, he said.
With a view to ensuring 100 percent cashless mode of transactions, the official banker for the event 'Dena Bank'has been asked to provide 100 POS machines, a dedicated bank branch with two ATMs and six mobile ATM Vans at the venue to facilitate participants and visitors, Kundu stated. Mobikwik has been roped in as e-wallet partner to the ensure further convenience of people in adopting hassle free cashless transactions.