Updated: September 3, 2021 9:50:51 pm
In anticipation of a third Covid-19 wave, the Karnataka government Friday decided to keep Dasara festivities in Mysuru and adjoining districts low-key.
Announcing the decision to conduct the state’s official festival in a “simple and traditional” manner for the second consecutive year, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “We have decided to release Rs 6 crore to celebrate Dasara festival at Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, and Sriragapatna.”
The budget announced this year, incidentally, is lower than the condensed budget of Rs 10 crore announced by B S Yediyurappa last year. Under normal circumstances, the state spends an average of Rs 50 crore every year towards Dasara celebrations.
“Concrete steps will be taken to promote tourism hit by #Covid19 crisis,” #Karnataka CM @BSBommai says. He announced that all festivities atop Chamundi Hills, Jumbo Savari, and illuminating #Mysuru for #Dasara celebrations will be conducted. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/Fi7EEWosuM
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) September 3, 2021
However, the total budget that would be in use this year amounts to Rs 14.09 crore, including the Rs 8.09 crore that the government plans to release from the pending amount set aside for the festivities in 2019. “I have directed the officials to maintain financial discipline and the expenditure should not exceed the grant released for the year and ensure accountability as well as transparency,” Bommai said.
After chairing a meeting with the high-level committee in charge of organising the 10-day-long cultural and religious festival, Bommai announced that all rituals including the inauguration of the festivities atop Chamundi Hills, Jumbo Savari (elephant procession), and the illumination of the city will take place this year.
However, similar to how it was held last year, festivities and cultural events will be restricted to the famous Amba Vilas Palace and Chamundeshwari Temple with the Jumbo Savari — a grand procession of elephants carrying idols of deities including Sri Chamundeshwari usually held from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap Grounds — limited to the Palace premises.
While the festival is scheduled to begin on October 7, the high-level committee has assured the CM to find an eminent personality to inaugurate the festivities. Last year, the government had chosen five ‘Corona Warriors’ to inaugurate Dasara while renowned novelist Santeshivara Lingannaiah Bhyrappa was chosen to do the honours in 2019.
The CM has also directed officials to submit an estimate for developing infrastructure in connection with Dasara celebrations in Mysuru.
‘Concrete steps to be taken to promote tourism’
Addressing the media after the meeting, Bommai announced that the government would take measures to revive the tourism sector affected by the pandemic. “Tourism has taken a hit due to the Covid–19 crisis resulting in an economic slowdown. In this situation, concrete steps will be taken to promote tourism,” he announced.
Responding to demands by several MLAs to establish a Tourist Circuit in the Mysuru region, Hampi, Badami, and Vijayapura, Bommai added that he would discuss steps with the Tourism Minister to make “optimum utilisation of the opportunity to increase tourist inflow in the existing tourism policy”.
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