Cuttack, Nov 1 (LocalWire): The open-air Balijatra fair, held annually along the Mahanadi riverbed, has been accorded state-level festival status by Odisha government.
As the Balijatra festival reminds one of the state’s rich maritime history and trade link overseas, it will be accorded state-level tag.
The district culture council, the organizers of Balijatra, will be provided financial grants to the tune of Rs 20 lakh, said Pratap Jena, the minister for Panchayati Raj, law, housing and urban development.
To build an improved infrastructure for the annual fair, the government will release a grant of Rs 50 lakh every year, he said.
The minister also said that the state will take the initiative to help the festival attain the status of a national-level festival like the Kumbh Mela.
Meanwhile, Cuttack district administration has geared up to make the fair a grand success.
The week-long Balijatra will commence on 12 November and continue till 19 November.
‘We are trying to make this event different this year.
New sponsors, who found it difficult to participate in Balijatra earlier, are showing keen interest to participate in the mega fair this year.
Sponsors have been offered space to showcase their activities in Balijatra,’ said Cuttack Collector, Bhabani Shankar Chayini.
The plot allotment for traders is in full swing.
Last year, Rs 1.32-crore revenue was generated in the festival. We are hopeful that revenue generation will be larger than last year, he said.
The administration has decided to issue identity cards against each registration including the small vendors.
They will no more be subjected to any kind of harassment by anybody in the name of enforcement, he said.
The administration has taken help of technology to create three new water bodies adjacent to the Balijatra ground.
The renovated ponds would engage visitors in water-based activities like boating for the first time during Balijatra.
Apart from that they will also have a great shopping experience during the mega fair, Chayini said.
The administration is also coming up with a mass-messaging tool that will enable to disseminate information regarding Balijatra faster.
Balijatra brings up an opportunity to transform lives of many – be it a budding cultural artist or a small time vendor.
Through its successful organization, the district administration is confident that everybody coming to Cuttack Balijatra will have a great time.