THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Onam festival celebrations which are due to commence on September 5 will conclude on September 11 in the city with a procession of floats that present traditional and cultural heritage of Kerala.
Speaking at a meeting convened by Health and Family Welfare Minister V S Sivakumar, Minister for Tourism A P Anilkumar requested the cooperation of all government departments, local self-government institutions, banks and the private sector in the programme.
The state government has issued permission to the local self-government institutions, government departments and district co-operative banks to shell out Rs 2.5 lakh each for the preparations of floats for the procession of Onam celebrations. It has also permitted municipalities to spend Rs 1.5 lakh and block, village panchayats, primary co-operative societies and co-operative banks to spend to Rs 1 lakh for float preparation.
The Minister also directed officials to decorate the sides of the streets along which the procession would pass with electric illumination. The floats in the procession will showcase the social, cultural, agricultural and environmental themes from Kerala. The institutions or government departments wishing to present floats will have to submit proposals to a selection committee presided over by Varkala Kahar MLA before August 20 for approval.
Sivakumar said that the inflow of tourists to witness the procession has been increasing year after year. He insisted that all the government departments and private sector establishments should voluntarily participate in the procession.
Varkala Kahar observed in the meeting that Onam celebrations should unveil the possibilities of tourism in Kerala. Tourism Secretary Suman Billa, Tourism Director Sheikh Pareed, Additional Director Anupama T V and various departmental heads were present.