Goa minister defends tomatina festivalOctober 31st, 2011 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, Oct 31 (IANS) Even as green groups are seething over the potential wastage of tonnes of tomatoes at the Sundown Tomatina Festival to be held here Saturday, Goa’s Tourism Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar said the organisers have assured him that “only 20 to 25 kg of tomatoes would be used” during the event.
“They have told us that only 20 to 25 kg of tomatoes will be used for the event. They have committed us that,” Halarnkar told IANS Monday.
The Mumbai-based organisers of the event have billed the Sundown Tomatina Festival 2011 as a mega 12-hour event which is expected to host 30,000 revellers who would fling tomatoes at one another, jumping and dancing with water jets spraying.
“The festival is conceived by actor Rahul Raj Singh, his colleagues at Magnum Opus Films, with the support of the Spanish consulate in Mumbai and Goa’s tourism department,” said Ginu Joseph, director of the Mumbai-based Chrysolite Media Pvt. Ltd.
The tourism department has insisted that they are not involved in the event at all.
“We are not partnering with the organisers, we have only given them permission because some foreign tourists may come for the event,” Halarnkar said, adding that the state home ministry had not granted the festival any permissions yet.
The Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) and other green groups in Goa have already protested the event, which they said was a case of “moral outrage in a nation that has people too poor to even buy subsidised food grain from the Public Distribution System”.
“Hosting a tomatina festival may be good for some villages in Spain that have surplus tomato production,” said Miguel Braganza, vice president of the Intercontinental Network of Organic Farmers Organisation (INOFO).
The La Tomatina festival has its roots in Spain and its popularity in India is rooted in recent Bollywood film “Zindagi Na Milegi DObara”, which features a segment on the festival.
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Tags: bollywood film, botanical society, braganza, chrysolite, dobara, food grain, ginu, intercontinental network, la tomatina festival, magnum opus, media pvt, moral outrage, organic farmers, public distribution system, raj singh, spanish consulate, tomato production, tourism department, tourism minister, water jets