Touted as the 'City Beautiful's' most colourful event, the Chandigarh Carnival has turned out to be another ritualistic event, offering nothing new.
Except for a few brush-ups here and there, the carnival, being organised at the Leisure Valley in Sector 10 here, offers largely the same fare year after year.
Visitors who were here last year as well said that although the theme changed from 'Halloween' last year to 'Dreamland' this time, there was nothing so very different.
Though the carnival attracts footfalls by the hundreds, many people return disappointed that they are served the same fare again.
The same old stalls, the same parade of carnival floats, little difference in the performances by local artists-visitors say the carnival has become quite predictable, more like an annual ritual.
Poorly managed traffic and the dearth of parking space make the whole thing quite a damp squib, complain visitors this year.
"I have been coming to this carnival for the last four years. The biggest problem every year is traffic. Even routine traffic on the roads here can be quite disturbed, and with the carnival, it is just a mess. The organisers just pay scant attention to such details each year," said Raj Kaushal, who works with a private bank in the city.
Shreya Sharma, a homemaker who had brought her daughter too to the carnival, told IANS: "The administration just makes arrangements for the carnival without putting any thought into it. This is sheer wastage of money and time of residents. The event is merely for bureaucrats and officials."
On the first day of the carnival Friday, scores of students who were participating in the parade from the city's educational institutions were made to wait for nearly three hours before the event was flagged off by Chandigarh's top bureaucrat K.K. Sharma, adviser to the UT administrator.
"We came here in a hurry to be on time. Many of us did not even have breakfast. But we were made to wait for over three hours," one participant from a college, requesting anonymity, told IANS.
A.K. Malhotra, general manager-tourism at the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), however, said: "Like every year, we made sure that the event starts on time; it is certainly going on very well."
He added that the administration was committed to making improvements in future so that it is much more fun-filled for the residents.
The carnival, however, is a hands-on experience for students of the Government College of Art, located across the carnival venue.
Siddharth Sharma, a fine arts , said: "To us, it is an appreciation and token of encouragement for the hours-long hard work that we put in to make this carnival a success. We eagerly wait for this event every year."
This year's attractions include theme-based floats, stalls, exhibitions and street plays.
(Ritika Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)