K.N. Venkatasubba Rao

It was originally scheduled in February 2007

Stir against order of Cauvery Tribunal forced deferment

BANGALORE: The plan to hold the Vishwa Kannada Sammelan in Belgaum in December at an estimated cost of Rs. 20 crore as announced by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa recently may not be feasible owing to various factors, according sources in the Government.

The mega event was thought of by the S.M. Krishna government. It was carried forward by the Dharam Singh-led government, and the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led government even fixed the date. The much-hyped sammelan, which was scheduled to be held in Belgaum for three days from February 23, 2007, was deferred it in the light of the protests that followed the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Of the allocated initial fund of Rs. 10 crore, the Department of Kannada and Culture spent Rs. 1 crore and returned the rest.

According to sources, organising a scaled-down sammelan would not be a problem for the department, which is the nodal agency. But holding a mega event, as part of the Suvarna Karnataka celebrations, in the way it was conceived and projected, requires a minimum of four to six months of preparation.

“The department is not fully equipped to organise the event at such short notice. Considering the grand manner in which the event is planned to be held, it is not wise to rush through with it, as it will not only dilute the significance of the event but also cause further delay in the implementation of routine programmes,” sources said.

In 2006-07, even after constituting several committees to oversee the preparations, the Government took over four months to finalise a comprehensive action plan. The plan included the beautification of Belgaum city, an exhibition showcasing the development of the State in the past 50 years, folk, sports and film festivals, cultural programmes and seminars on various topics related to the State.

However, with the political instability in the State over the past few years, the Directorate of Kannada and Culture is said to be in shambles. The directorate has deferred its annual programmes such as the Basava Jayanti celebrations, presentation of 11 annual awards, Vasanta Gitotsava, Horanada Kanandigara Utsava and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Festival for the past two years.