Kapurthala MC to give century-old popular Basant festival a miss
Faced with severe fund crunch, the Kapurthala municipal council will give a miss to the century-old Basant festival, which is traditionally held at Shalimar Bagh on the occasion of Basant Panchmi, for the fifth year in a row.punjab Updated: Jan 23, 2015 22:48 IST
Faced with severe fund crunch, the Kapurthala municipal council will give a miss to the century-old Basant festival, which is traditionally held at Shalimar Bagh on the occasion of Basant Panchmi, for the fifth year in a row.
The civic body celebrated the festival last in 2010.
Local residents were hoping the MC might organise the Basant festival this Basant Panchami, but in vain. The Shalimar Bagh, which once with flowers, trees and fountains on its premises attracted children coming for amusement and the elderly for walks, now has become a gamblers’ haven due to the government’s apathy.
This is perhaps the oldest event celebrated every year at the historical bagh and the Maharaja visited the festival venue atop an elephant during the pre-Independence era. For several decades, MC had been organising the function with renowned singers invited to perform in the cultural event. It has been learnt that with meagre funds at hand, the MC has not been able to organise the festival which costs around `3 lakh to `5 lakh.
Blaming the state government for this, Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit said the festival was celebrated every year when the Congress was in power. “Since the Akali government has come into power, this festival has been organised for two years so far,” he said.
Sarabjit Singh Makkar, chairman, district planning committee, said they were planning to continue with the tradition of organising the festival this time.
“Due to bad weather, we have planned to organise the festival a week or 10 days after Basant Panchami,” he said.
Paramjit Singh, executive officer, Kapurthala MC, said he was not aware of any festival organised in the Shalimar Bagh.