Cuttack: With the administration deciding to auction prime plots at the coming Baliyatra festival for the first time, vendors have expressed resentment against it.
"While over 1,200 plots covering over 16 acres in both the festival grounds would be allotted to the interested vendors on a fixed price, why has the administration decided to auction only 12 prime plots," the vendors asked objecting to the administration`s move.
The festival is scheduled to begin from the Kartick Purnima day on November 17 and the district administration has decided to auction some prime plots covering over an acre at the new Baliyatra ground on Mahanadi riverbed.
Cuttack sadar tehsildar Subhananda Mohapatra said the district collector has taken the decision to auction the prime plots to boost revenue generation.
He said some advertisement agencies were booking these plots and later subletting them to big players pocketing heavy commissions. In order to check such illegal activities, the administration this year has decided to auction these plots.
The vendors, some of whom have been putting up stalls on the riverbed for over a decade during the festival and encouraging others to join them, have claimed preferential stakes on the plots and also expressed fear of criminal activities spurred by the auctioning of the plots.
"In fact, we helped the district administration by bringing more and more areas in the festival ground."
Besides, the auction process would run for over a week and by the time the third auction would be over on November 14, the successful bidder will have only two days in hand to set up the stall for the festival to begin on November 17, the vendors said.