Balangir, Feb. 24: Uncertainty looms over the fate of this year’s Balangir Lok Utsav as the annual cultural event has been put off yet again because the district administration will not be able to organise it. The event was supposed to be held between February 26 and 29.
Earlier this year, the festival was postponed twice because of the panchayat polls.
District collector and chairman of the festival committee Sailendra Narayan Dey convened a meeting and expressed the inability to organise the festival on the scheduled dates, as preparations had not been made.
Disgusted with frequent shifting of the date by the district administration, committee members suggested that the festival be cancelled this year. However, Dey said not holding the event would send across a bad message.
Last year, the event was delayed. It was held in February after much uncertainty. The reason for the delay was the change of the name of the Lok Utsav to Koshal Tihar, to which a section of people was opposed.
The name was finally changed back to Lok Utsav. Theatre personality and culture enthusiast Jagadananda Chhuria, who plays a major role in conducting the event, said it was unfortunate that the district administration was deferring the festival’s date.
“I have been associated with the festival ever since it first began in 1998. Never have I seen the district administration change its stance so often.”
Chhuria further said that late March was not an ideal time to organise the festival. “Even it is organised in March, it will be a poor show and people will criticise us. Then the event will have to be held in November. It is not possible to organise two Lok Utsav in a single year,” he said.
The district collector said the event had to be held. “We have to organise the Lok Utsav or it will send a bad message to art lovers and culture enthusiasts of the district,” he said.