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99 Yatra
Kutch carnival to attract tourists
13 September 2006

Aiming to attract tourists to the desert district of Kutch, the Gujarat government will next month organise a carnival that will feature folk artists playing music and performing dances on the streets. 
The one-day Kutch Carnival, to be held Oct 7 in the Kutch headquarters Bhuj, will be yet another addition to the festivities the government has planned for 2006 - declared the Tourism Year in Gujarat.

Officials said the carnival would be the first of its kind in the state.

’This carnival will certainly be not in line with the famous carnivals of Goa or Brazil but it will help tourists to see the district’s rich culture,’ said P.D. Vaghela, secretary of the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TCGL).

’Local dances and ethnic music will roll along the Bhuj roads to entertain tourists as well as residents,’ Vaghela told IANS.

The carnival, part of the three-day, government-sponsored Sharadotsav in Kutch, will display local dances, mainly Garba, besides performance of musical troupes of different communities from the heterogeneous district.

’This is a unique concept. The carnival will be a rare occasion in Bhuj’s history. Some developmental themes will be highlighted besides the festivities. We have roped in local NGOs too,’ said Kutch district collector Dhananjay Dwivedi.

However, authorities were tight-lipped about the budget of yet another extravaganza.

While TCGL claimed not to have allocated any ’extra budget’ for the event, the district administration said the required amount would be raised through advertisements.

’We have contacted some industrial and corporate houses to raise funds for the festival. We are inviting advertisements as well as sponsorships,’ said Dwivedi.

Observers were sceptical about the success of the carnival as the touring season in Kutch begins in November. Moreover, the Mandvi resort, a prime destination on the Kutch seashore, was closed this month due to low number of visitors.

Last year’s Sharadotsva, named after the two-month Sharad season of the Hindu calendar, had failed to attract tourists in good numbers.

Courtesy :Indo Asian News Service
www, kutchhis globally , from Mumbai

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