Tag Archives: Karnataka

Questions for Tourism Minister RV Deshpande

This is in response to the article ‘Let not false propaganda undo a good project: R.V. Deshpande‘ The honourable minister for tourism states in this interview:

We made it clear that the Tourism department does not own any of the properties, which means we can’t sell anything or even lease the destinations. So, there’s no question of privatization of any of them, let alone the art gallery.

Going through some of the documents – recommendations by KTVG, government circulars and the tourism policy 2015-2020 document -there are some facts which seem to stand in contradiction to what the honourable minister says. Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

Karnataka Tourism and Vision Group – Labour


This series is an attempt to think through and articulate some of the questions that have come up via the struggle against transferring Venkatappa Art Gallery to a private foundation. Some of the issues I will be exploring have not yet made it into conversations or articulations amongst those fighting against the takeover. This would be a very important attack on labour to fend off.


The KTVG (Karnataka Tourism Vision Group) in it’s introduction to the takeover of public spaces in Karnataka states that the no of possible jobs that can be created is 4.3 million over the next decade. The govt policy pegs it at 30 lakhs for a 5 year period.(GoK, Tourism Policy:17)

Recommendations of the KTVG on Labour:

  • The Tourism Industry to be brought under the Essential Service Act in order to “give the tourism industry immunity against frequent disruption in business like strikes/ bundhs, protecting visitors to the state from any on-going dispute.” (KTVG, Recommendations:59)

What is the Essential Service Act? Continue reading