ESG governing body members express concern over possible disruption of cultural programmes

The proposed ‘Sample Concept Plan’ for cultural programmes during the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2012 is already creating embarrassment for most of the members of the governing body of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG),

who are worried over the public reaction, which is likely to come soon going by the present economic situation in Goa vis-à-vis closure of mining industry in the state.
The governing body of the ESG is scheduled to meet on October 8 to discuss the IFFI 2012 preparations, including cultural programmes with an independent budget of Rs 5 crore.
The governing body had approved this budget for cultural programmes on July 20, earlier this year.
The governing body members expressed concern over possible disruption of these cultural programmes, in a way which saw many of art and culture department’s event being obstructed during the MoI agitation in the past.
Some of the members of the governing body, on the condition of anonymity told ‘The Navhind Times’ that they were not aware of what exactly the ‘sample’ concept plan consists of as they received the agenda for the October 8 meeting through e-mail, without any annexure of  the agenda.
Earlier, the vice chairman of the ESG, Mr Vishnu Wagh had informed a section of media that this year’s IFFI would be people-friendly film festival and include cultural programmes in all talukas of the state.
Mr Wagh had also stated that some of his friends in Mumbai had already started preparations for concerts in accordance to the festival theme of completion of 100 years of Indian cinema.
A member of the governing body said that the previous government had stopped all IFFI-related cultural and peripheral activities since 2009 on account of widespread criticism and allegations levelled against the then members of the ESG, who had taken direct benefits of some of the concerts.
“The stopping of such programmes was also justified from view of the security concerns,” he added.
The agenda for October 8 meeting also include finalisation of specification for erection of hanger required for the IFFI 2012 opening as well as closing ceremonies, which are proposed to be held at Darya Sangam.
Another member of the governing council raised apprehensions over this idea stating that the available space at Darya Sangam will not accommodate more than 250 people, after taking into consideration the space required for stage, backstage area, green rooms, sound and light consoles and so on. He said that the reasons cited for erecting the hanger and shifting the ceremonies from Kala Academy to Darya Sangam may not be entirely justified.
The agenda further includes an item about approval for festival and transit hotels for IFFI 2012. This item substantiates the lacuna in the selection of these hotels by a special empowered committee appointed by the government, without the knowledge of the governing body of the ESG. This special empowered committee had bypassed the tendering process for hotels and started negotiations with the hotel managements for the selection. One of the members of the special empowered committee had also maintained that ESG was a Corporation and hence there was no need for the tendering process to select festival and transit hotels.
The agenda also has an item about finalising manpower plan, which indicates that with few days now left for the mega film event, the ESG is still struggling to put the workforce for the same in place. The ratification of security and housekeeping agencies, revenue generation plan for the ESG and restoration of Konkani screen classics are some other items in the agenda for the meeting. [NT]