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Friday, October 30, 2020

Make Mysore Dasara celebrations virtual for public, recommends advisory committee

It has been recommended to restrict the number of persons attending the four major events of the celebrations as well.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | October 9, 2020 9:05:54 pm
Mysore dasara festival, mysuru dasara, mysore dussehra, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, dussehra special, photographer Prashanth VishwanathanEvery year thousands of people throng Mysuru from all over the globe to witness the 10-day Dasara festival during Navaratri (FIle)

A Covid-19 technical advisory committee constituted by the Karnataka government on Friday recommended celebrating the Mysore Dasara celebrations virtually this year on account of rising coronavirus cases in the state.

“The case fatality rate (in Mysuru) is 2.1% and test positivity rate is 17% as on October 8. Mysuru stands next to Bengaluru in terms of disease burden and fatality,” the committee headed by Dr M K Sudarshan noted in its report submitted to the government.

Further, it has been recommended to restrict the number of persons attending the four major events of the celebrations as well. While the number of attendees for the opening ceremony at Chamundi Hills is restricted to 200, not more than 50 people will be allowed to attend cultural programmes scheduled to be held every evening from October 17 to 24 at the Mysuru Palace. “Cultural programmes shall be limited to two hours per day by local artists only. The performers shall be preferably from Mysuru and other districts of Karnataka,” the recommendations mentioned.

Only 300 people will be allowed to participate in the Jumbo Savari — a grand procession of elephants carrying idols of deities including Sri Chamundeshwari from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap Grounds — this year. “This includes officials and staff on duty, artists and artisans, and security personnel having valid pass from the district administration,” Dr Sudarshan clarified.

Further, police personnel will be deployed at key areas in the city where the illumination will be on from 7 pm to 9 pm across all days from October 17 to 26 when festivities take place.

Also read| Karnataka to scale down Mysore Dasara celebrations due to Covid-19

The committee which also comprised Dr Mahamood Sharriff and Dr Lokesh Alahari has proposed that all attendees of the main events planned to be held during the same time, should have a negative Covid-19 report obtained after an RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test done after October 14.

Earlier this week, Health Minister B Sriramulu had met officials at Mysuru Deputy Commissioner’s office. After the meeting, he had said there was a general view that the Dasara should be confined to the Mysuru Palace and Chamundi Hills.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had announced in September that the government had decided to scale down the celebrations, citing the pandemic situation. A condensed budget of Rs 10 crore was also announced instead of the Rs 50 crore budget that the state spends per year on average on its official state festival.

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