Kerala's Onam Extravaganza: INR 11 Crore for a Festive Spectacle
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 / India  / Kerala’s Onam Extravaganza: INR 11 Crore for a Festive Spectacle
Onam Festival
18 Jul

Kerala’s Onam Extravaganza: INR 11 Crore for a Festive Spectacle

In a daring move that raises eyebrows, the Kerala government has unleashed a torrent of funds totaling INR 10.72 crore for the grandiose celebration of Onam week. From August 27 to September 2, the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram and all district headquarters will become a playground of mirth and merriment.

The staggering amount of INR 2.29 crore will be lavished upon invited artists, whose performances promise to dazzle and enthrall the masses. No expense will be spared to ensure that the Onam pageantry captures the essence of this cherished tradition. An additional INR 2.09 crore will be devoted to the construction of temporary infrastructure, transforming the landscape into a vibrant tapestry of color and enchantment. To spread the joy far and wide, INR 97.12 lakh will be channeled towards branding and publicity, casting a spell that beckons all to join in the revelry. As if this weren’t enough, a staggering INR 6.65 crore will be funneled into the capital city alone, ensuring that Thiruvananthapuram becomes the epicenter of the festivities.

But wait, there’s more! Across the 14 districts, an additional INR 3.20 crore will ignite celebrations orchestrated by the district tourism promotion councils. The true extent of these festivities cannot be contained within the meager funds allocated, prompting district collectors, the maestros of the DTPCs, to unleash their resourcefulness. They harness the machinery of the state, reaching out to real estate dealers, builders, and even quarry and crusher operators for private sponsorships. While this strategy has been met with criticism in the past, it is an undeniable testament to the relentless pursuit of creating a spectacle that leaves no stone unturned.

An Initiative of Kerala Tourism

Kerala's Onam Extravaganza: INR 11 Crore for a Festive Spectacle

In a bold move that adds another layer of intrigue to this tale, the cabinet has approved the tourism department’s decision to crown Trishul Buildtech and Infrastructures Pvt Ltd as the custodian of the crown jewel, Panaji Park. With an annual license fee of INR 63 lakh, this pristine riverfront property, once leased to Mandovi Hotels Pvt Ltd, has returned to the warm embrace of the tourism department. The stage is set for a transformation that will leave visitors breathless.

The government’s seemingly insatiable zeal for the Onam bash this year comes as a delightful surprise. In 2016, the Pinarayi government imposed restrictions, forbidding government servants from reveling in Onam celebrations during duty hours, all in the name of saving precious “government time and money.” Oh, how times have changed!

However, amidst the fanfare, a dark cloud looms. A financial crunch has cast a shadow over pending payments under various schemes. Families in dire need await the one-time financial assistance of up to INR 2 lakh, a lifeline for economically backward SC families struck by the loss of their sole breadwinners. Scholarships that could change the lives of deserving students, honorariums for diligent anganwadi workers, and welfare board pensions remain trapped in a web of bureaucracy. As contractors turn away from government projects, a discounted payment system in partnership with banks attempts to salvage the situation. Yet, the lingering plight of the KSRTC salary crisis serves as a stark reminder of unresolved challenges.

Amidst the extravagance of Onam, Kerala treads a precarious tightrope, balancing the jubilation of the present with the burdens of the past. The festival promises to be a captivating spectacle, but one cannot help but wonder if the cost is too high for a state already burdened by unpaid debts.