With the state government restricting grants for diamond jubilee celebration of Vidhana Soudha to Rs 10 crore, the state legislature has reduced funds allotted to filmmakers to make documentaries on the iconic structure and the state legislature.
The celebrations will now be held only for one day on October 25 as against the two-day affair planned previously. The cut in grants follows widespread criticism regarding the Rs 26.87-cr proposal submitted to the government by the state legislature secretariat for extravagant celebrations of the diamond jubilee.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has directed the finance department that the grants for the celebrations should not exceed Rs 10 crore.
Following this, the allocation for a documentary on the history of the state legislature by filmmaker T N Seetharam has been reduced from Rs 1.58 crore to Rs 50 lakh. Similarly, the funds for a documentary on Vidhana Soudha by Girish Kasaravali have been cut from Rs 1 crore to Rs 30 lakh and that for ‘Vidhana Soudha in 3D stereoscope’ by Master Kishan has been reduced from Rs 1.02 crore to Rs 40 lakh, official sources said.
In a detailed post on his Facebook page, Seetharam scoffed that capturing 136 years of the state legislature’s history was no easy task. “It’s not like playing photographs with a background narration. It’s recreation of the period. It’s 240 minutes long. It’s not easy. I didn’t ask for this,” he wrote, pointing out an older post he made in July complaining of insufficient budgetary allocation.
The funds earmarked for cultural programmes organised by Kannada and Culture department, for publicity and videography and photography, have also been cut down, the sources added.