Kerala govt sanctions Rs 40L for inauguration of renovated Travancore Palace

The state government envisages to develop the palace as Kerala cultural centre in New Delhi. An art gallery, seminar hall and conference hall are part of the renovation project.

Published: 27th July 2023 10:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2023 10:28 AM   |  A+A-

Travancore Palace in New Delhi

Travancore Palace in New Delhi (Photo | Wikimedia Commons)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has sanctioned Rs 40 lakh for the inaugural function of the renovated Travancore Palace in New Delhi. The general administration department (GAD) has accorded sanctions based on a proposal from the resident commissioner, Delhi, to meet expenses in connection with the inaugural. The government action comes at a time when the state exchequer is reeling under severe financial stress and is struggling to disburse even salary and pension.

On July 15, the resident commissioner submitted the proposal for Rs 40 lakh to meet expenses in connection with the inaugural function. On July 25, the GAD issued an order, which is in possession of TNIE, sanctioning the amount. 

Despite repeated attempts, resident commissioner Saurabh Jain and general administration additional chief secretary K R Jyothilal did not respond to phone calls and messages. Information officer of Kerala House, Sini K Thomas, told TNIE that the resident commissioner has taken permission for Rs 40 lakh and it does not mean that the entire funds will be spent. 

“The resident commissioner sought permission for Rs 40 lakh. It is not allowed as a special fund,” she said. When asked about the order where it’s specifically mentioned that the amount is to meet inaugural expenses, she said, “Kerala House has a head of account and a fund. We have made many arrangements, including a light and sound show, in the Travancore House. It has to be tested before the inauguration. There will also be cultural programmes on the inaugural day. We have to invite many guests and because of the bad climate, the programme will be held under a roof with air conditioning. We don’t know how much will be the expense. That’s why the commissioner sought Rs 40 lakh. We haven’t sought any additional funds,” she said.

The inaugural function of the Travancore House is scheduled to be held on August 4. India Tourism Development Corporation has been given the charge to organise the inaugural programme. The state government had in 2020 September handed over the charge of renovation work of the 96,176.34 sq ft Travancore Palace to National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) and the work was undertaken by NSL, a subsidiary firm. According to sources, the cost of renovation is around Rs 20 crore. 

The state government envisages developing the palace as Kerala cultural centre in New Delhi. An art gallery, seminar hall and conference hall are part of the renovation project.

Earlier the Travancore Palace was in the news after a group of persons reportedly belonging to a branch of the erstwhile Travancore Royal family tried to enter into an agreement with a Chennai-based realtor. 

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