Goa carnival faces financial woes

By: Rupesh Samant
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Panaji, Mar 3: Even before carnival float parades could hit the streets in Goa, controversy has struck the annual festivities which will now be held with a pruned budget as the main host has pulled out of the event.

Carnival, a tradition that Goa has inherited from erstwhile Portuguese rule, involves a public celebration in form of long continuous parades of colourful floats, led by 'King Momo' or king of the carnival.

Carnival committees, constituted across five main cities of Goa to host the parades, will have to work with a lesser budget as the state-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), the main host all these years, is not associated with the festivities this time.

"The King Momo''s float, which heralds the parade, would be made by state Tourism Department," GTDC Chairman Shyam Satardekar told PTI.

Conventionally, GTDC was hosting all the parades and deciding on the King Momo's float, the main highlight of the event which is also a major tourist attraction.

The Tourism Department has decided to drop GTDC from the organising list and host the event, starting on Mar 5, on its own, Satardekar said. "We were not considered by the department (to host the event) right from the beginning."

The Tourism Department had announced a financial support of Rs 4 lakh each for the five carnival committees as against the last year''s budget of Rs 35 lakh for Panaji alone.

The drop in the budget had upset the committees and Chief Minister Digambar Kamat himself had to intervene and hike the budget.


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