Tag Archives: Karnataka Tourism

RTI Rejections: Disclosure as threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India

Within the context of recent events in India such as the criminalisation of protest that we have seen at JNU, caste and it’s unaccountability with Rohith Vemula, the tabling of the bill on Aadhar, the threat of the coming back of 66A, what has been made clear is the State’s endeavour to make citizens ‘accountable’ with the threat of punishment. At the same time the State has been engaging in drawing up a veil which leaves it unaccountable to its citizens.

One of the spaces is where information is requested under Right to Information (RTI) Act reasons so incomprehensible are provided and being touted as valid grounds to reject attempts at making State processes transparent. Continue reading

PPP and the subversion of Democracy: Some observations on the Adoption Program by DOT


Department of Tourism (DOT) was inspired by the ‘Campaign Clean India’ launched by the Govt of India and wanted to improve the basic infrastructure and undertake promotion and publicity with private investment.

DOT had identified  46 destinations including Venkatappa Art Gallery subsequent to the  recommendations of Karnataka Tourism Vision Group (KTVG) report and further discussions with Government of Karnataka and KTVG.  DOT made made a request to the govt to create a committee to approve proposals from the Corporate sector to provide the to provide facilities such as basic amenities, signages, interpretations centres, tourist friendly vehicles, proper guides etc., under the adoption programme.

What were the protocols followed in this identification? On what basis were these 46 destinations decided?Where are the records? In the preamble to Govt Order No. TD 98 TTT 2014 it also states that “the list is not an exhaustive one and corporates/PSUs can suggest any destination they want to adopt.” Are Corporates more than equal citizens of Karnataka? Continue reading

Conflict of Interest – KTVG

Six spaces that have been adopted by corporate firms on paper and their connections to Karnataka Tourism Vision Group

Government Museum, Bengaluru – Jindal Foundation – Sangita Jindal (member of KTVG)

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary – Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Pvt. Ltd. – JSW (Sattiraju Seshagiri Rao is a director on the boards of Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Pvt Ltd and 3 JSW companies.)


Venkatappa Art Gallery – Tasveer Foundation – Abhishek Poddar (member of KTVG)

Kavala Caves – West Coast Papers Mills Ltd.

Belur and Halebid – Coffee Day Enterprises

Lalbagh – Bangalore Chambers of Industry and Commerce – (BCIC Rep was member of KTVG)


Questions around Venkatappa Art Gallery


This is part of the series of blog posts I am doing around the handover of public spaces by the Government of Karnataka to private Capital.


  1. In the govt order no TD98 TTT2014 dated 16-09-14 it states that the Government has identified “319 tourist destinations across the State where tourist facilities need to be provided/expanded or upgraded.” How do you decide that something needs to be rejuvenated? What are the parameters that are applied to figure this? What were the protocols followed in this identification?
  2. This document also states that “the list is not an exhaustive one and corporates/PSUs can suggest any destination they want to adopt.” Are Corporates more than equal citizens of Karnataka?
  3. How was it brought down to 46? And then to 11?
  4. What was the process of inviting parties to adopt? Was there a tender/bid? The document also states how this will be done “either by one to one meeting with Corporates or by having road shows.”
  5. “A proposal needs to be submitted and a joint inspection would be conducted by Joint Director (PMU) the Nodal officer of the dept and the nominated member from corporate/psu” Was this done for Tasveer? Where are the minutes?
  6. A Project Implementation Committee to approve proposals (all govt members) has been set up to process proposals. Then why is iDeck asking for EOI on behalf of KTVG? Is KTVG the body that decides on the proposals and the sanctioning of projects? Is KTVG a non-elected arm of the government?
  7. Why is iDeck handling this process? Is there a circular out stating how iDeck was hired to manage this process? iDeck consists of the Govt, IDFC and HDFC. Why are private banks deciding on how government money gets spent?
  8. iDeck in it’s publication ‘Expression of Interest’ for Empanelment of Destination Design Consultants for Preparation of DPR for Tourism Projects Identified by KTVG dated 19th January 2015 says that 11 projects were identified by GoK with inputs from KVTG on 30 april 2014. The circular announcing the adoption is issued on 16.09.14. So was KTVG hired to identify which cities/public spaces need to be given up? Is the adoption programme a KTVG creation? What is the constitutional mandate for such a group?
  9. Was this all funded by the government?

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