Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Feb 20: Not long ago a Mushaira was considered to be most economical event at a particular place, but it is not so, more so at a place like Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir.
The same has been proved from a reply given by Department of Tourism in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application moved by Dr. Sheikh Ghulam Rasool. The RTI applicant had sought details about the events organized by the Department of Tourism over a period of four years from January 2012 to January 2016.
In the RTI reply it has been written that Rs. 3, 36,777 were spent on a Mushaira held at Sher-I-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) Srinagar. The Mushaira was held on November 1, 2015. The Department of Tourism provided the reply to the RTI application on 29-07-2017. The application had been moved a month earlier on 29-06-2017.
The RTI reply said that 17 poets took part in the Mushaira with the money being paid as honorarium. As some of the poets came from outside the state the Department of Tourism paid them air fare as well. All this was done in the promotion of tourism in the Kashmir valley. As many as seven local poets took place in Mushaira.
Leading poet Munawar Rana received Rs. 67,500 (Rs. 30,000 as honorarium and Rs. 37,500 as cost of air tickets to and fro Srinagar) for his participation in the Mushaira. Dr. Nawaz Deoband received Rs. 30,000 as honorarium for taking part in the Mushaira. Dr. Nusrat Mehdi received Rs. 29,277 (Rs. 15,000 as honorarium and Rs. 14,277 as cost of air tickets to and fro Srinagar) for participation in the Mushaira.
Poets like Manzoor Bhopali, Syed Aijaz-ud-din Shah, Ram Sagar P Tripathi, Anwar, Naseem Nikhat, Abrar Kashif, Iqbal, Mohammad Farooq Nazki, Rukhsana Jabeen, Mohammad Aijaz, Liaqat Ali Jafri, Rafiq Raaz, Shafaq Sopori and Hamdam Kashmiri received Rs. 15,000 each for taking part in the day long Mushaira.
The RTI applicant had sought details about the events undertaken by Department of Tourism independently/jointly in association with any department (January 2012 to January 2016). The events had been classified under different heads as name of event/project, date, total amount spent per event and copy of utilization certificate of each event with year wise break up.
In total the RTI applicant through the RTI application had asked 11 questions but the department concerned gave reply to just two questions while keeping the other questions unanswered. The Department of Tourism through Deputy Director Tourism (Publicity) Kashmir has said that it is not in position to answer the remaining questions since they don't pertain to the publicity section.