Ministers' meet draws flak for 'neglecting' Kannada

Tourism ministers' meet in Bengaluru draws flak for 'neglecting' Kannada

The event, organised by the Centre, had no mention of the programme details in Kannada

Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER Kishan Reddy and tourism, environment and ecology minister Anand Singh. Credit: DH Photo

The issue of neglect of Kannada came to the fore yet again at a conference of tourism ministers of southern states organised in Bengaluru on Thursday where banners only in Hindi and English were displayed, inviting sharp criticism.

The event, organised by the Centre, was held at a private hotel in the city. Noticing that there was no mention of the programme details in Kannada, Tourism Minister Anand Singh demanded that the content be displayed in the state's language, too. Following this, the organisers included a digital screen next to the banner, with Kannada content.

However, there was much disgruntlement that neither the state government officials nor the tourism minister were kept in the loop with the details of the event even though it was held in Bengaluru.

Speaking to media persons later, Singh condemned the absence of Kannada in the banners. "I condemn it. However, it was an inadvertent error on their part for which the officials concerned have apologised," he stated.

Meanwhile, friction also emerged between the Centre and the state over the implementation of the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) scheme and the Swadesh Darshan scheme. Tourism ministry officials maintained that Karnataka was unable to receive funding under the scheme as the government's proposals "failed" to meet the parameters.

According to Rupender Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Karnataka had sought funds under PRASHAD for infrastructure at Chamundeshwari temple, Mysuru. However, the state government had also completed several work components at its own level. "We insist that the funds under the scheme are useful to the public. Karnataka was unable to demonstrate it," she said.

Expressing disappointment, Singh said the Centre's officials should not have termed it as the state government's failure. "It is not that the Karnataka government has not taken initiative. There are some technical issues which need to be sorted out," he said. 

Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy assured to resolve the deadlock and assured funding to the state under the schemes. 

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