Shravanabelagola, April 24, 2017: Preparations for the mahamastakabhisheka of the statue of Gomateshwara, to be held in February 2018, began on Monday with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah laying the foundation stone for works worth over ₹71 crore.

The Chief Minister also criticised the Union government for not granting funds for the event held once in 12 years.

The State government had provided ₹175 crore for the event in the Budget. It had also earmarked another ₹275 crore for roads to be developed by the Public Works Department, he said.

“I am told that, this time, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the State government should provide funds as the State’s allocation has been increased as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. Though the allocation to States has increased in percentage points, in reality, funds have come down. Earlier, we used to get around ₹11,000 crore, now it has come down to ₹8,000 crore,” he said. Last time the event attracted nearly 1 crore people and this time it might increase up to 1.5 crore as connectivity to the place had improved. – News Courtesy: The Hindu