The state government is yet to release Rs 9 crore for the year-long Kakatiya Festival, as promised, even after six months since the celebrations commenced.
Owing to non-release of funds, some scheduled programmes were not conducted, and some were held with funding from Kakatiya Heritage Trust, in collaborate with Intach.
The big question now is whether the events scheduled for the next six months, in the state and outside it, should be taken up or not.
Kakatiya Festival was inaugurated by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in Warangal on December 21, 2012. At that time, he announced Rs 9 crore grant for the conduct of the festival. However, no funds were released so far for programmes announced this year.
The Kakatiya Heritage Trust, with its own funds, had conducted some programmes in the last six months, which include release of the English translation of Nritta Ratnavali, written by Jaya Senapathi, popularly known as Jayapa Senani, legendary army general of Kakatiya king Ganapatideva.
The trust also brought out a coffee table book on Kakatiya history and heritage, which was released by Governor ESL Narasimhan on April 15, in Hyderabad. A two-day workshop on Heritage Education for college students was also conducted.
The trust, along with the district administration and the tourism department, organised a programme at Ramappa temple on April 18 to mark the 800 years of consecration of the temple. Noted danseuse Swampnasundari performed ‘Vilasani Nrtuyam’ at the temple on the occasion. The trust paid `2 lakh for the programme from its own funds, and still some bills are to be settled by the government.
The ‘Sound and Light’ show at Warangal on May 25 and the World Music Day event on June 21, which were scheduled as a part of the Kakatiya Festival, were not held for want of funds.
“Funds promised by the state government are not released. We, on our own, had conducted a few programmes, but we can do only so much. ” Prof. M Panduranga Rao of Kakatiya Heritage Trust told Express. The government had also announced setting up of Kakatiya International Convention Centre in Warangal, at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore. There is no progress on it till date. It was also decided to construct a Kakatiya Festival pylon in Warangal at a cost of Rs 20 lakh, for which no grant has been made so far.
In the just concluded Assembly session, the issue of funding for the Kakatiya Festival was raised by TDP MLA Errabelli Dayakara Rao, to which tourism minister Vatti Vasanta Kumar replied that Rs 1 crore had been spent on the festival so far.
When contacted, the minister explained that the finance department has not released the promised funds as the utilisation certificate for the Rs 1 crore released so far has not been submitted by the district administration. “Several reminders have been sent to the Warangal district collector,” he said.