In the aftermath of the Kerala floods, the worst the state has experienced in a century, the state government has decided to not host any official events for a year. Instead, the money used in hosting such events will be diverted for flood relief and rehabilitation. Among the significant functions which stand to be cancelled this year, is the acclaimed International Film Festival of Kerala, according to news agency ANI. Other youth festivals, including state school youth festivals will be cancelled as well.
A government order issued today said no government department would host any festival for a year, according to news agency IANS.
Kerala's culture minister AK Balan, however, said there "needs to be more clarity in the order," adding that there was no decision taken by the Committee of Ministers looking into the rebuilding of the state, according to IANS.
Filmmaker Kamal, who is the director of the academy organising the International Film Festival of Kerala said the order had come as a surprise.
"We can hold this festival without any celebrations and utilize our own funds," he said.
The funds from the cancelled events will be diverted to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund or the CMDRF. According to an IANS report, the fund received around Rs 1,036 crore as of Monday.
Around Rs 30,000 crore would be needed to rebuild Kerala, state finance minister Thomas Isaac said on Monday. The state government has started a massive fund collection drive to rebuild a 'new Kerala'. The government estimates Rs 6,000 crore in cash to come in through public contributions.
Ministers from Kerala will be travelling to around 14 countries to raise money through contributions, according to IANS.
The floods in Kerala have claimed around 400 lives, with lakhs who have been displaced.
The state government has announced a slew of measures for rehabilitation efforts, including interim relief of Rs 10,000 for families affected by the floods.
The centre has also announced banking and financial relief measures, including providing a concessional loan for rebuilding houses.
(With Inputs From ANI and IANS)