The state government has relented and hiked its funding for the Carnival celebrations in the state, bowing to pressure from the various town organizing committees.
The file for the hike in funds was cleared at 7pm on Friday evening, sources said. Members of the Carnival organizing committees who met tourism secretary D C Sahoo on Saturday were informed about the change in decision.
According to the revised funding, Panjim Carnival Committee gets .Rs 30 lakh, while the Carnival committees of the cities of Margao, Vasco, Mapusa and Ponda get Rs 15 lakh each. With the money issue settled, the Carnival parades will roll out in the state’s towns from March 5 onwards.
The state government had slashed funding of the Carnival festivities in the state last month.
On January 20, the government had decided to give ‘Panjim Carnival Committee’ Rs 4 lakh, while Margao, Vasco and Mapusa and Ponda were sanctioned Rs 3 lakh each. The government told the committees they would have to seek sponsorships if they wanted to increase their funds.
This had led the Panjim Carnival Committee 2011, headed by Joaquim Teles, to write to tourism director Swapnil Naik on Friday, seeking details about the funds sanctioned to the committee to plan the arrangements as well as programmes for Carnival 2011.
The letter stated: “A meeting of the office bearers of the Panjim Carnival Committee 2011 was held on February 22, 2011, after the cancellation of another meeting convened by the department of tourism on the same day. In the cancelled meeting, the department of tourism was supposed to indicate the budget/funds allotted to Panaji and to other centres around Goa where Carnival parades are held. Till today, we are not aware of how much funds are allotted to Panaji, and in the absence of this figure, it is not possible to plan the arrangements, activities and programmes for organizing the Carnival, which is only eight days away.”
Last year Panjim Carnival Committee had received Rs 35 lakh, while Margao, Vasco and Mapusa had been sanctioned Rs 15 lakh each.