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Karnataka to scale down Mysore Dasara celebrations due to Covid-19

A key attraction of the festival, the Jumbo Savari— a grand procession of elephants carrying idols of deities including Sri Chamundeshwari from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap Grounds — will also be restricted this time, Tourism Minister C T Ravi informed.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: September 11, 2020 8:50:12 am
Mysore dasara festival, mysuru dasara, mysore dussehra, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, dussehra special, photographer Prashanth VishwanathanThis year's Dasara celebrations are scheduled to be held from October 17 to 27. (Source: Prashanth Vishwanathan)

In wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Karnataka government Tuesday decided to make the world-famous Mysore Dasara celebrations a low-key event this year.

In a high-level meeting attended by all three Deputy CMs, other ministers, and top government officials, Chief Minister Yediyurappa said: “It has been unanimously decided to hold the Dasara celebrations in Mysuru in a simple manner upholding the tradition. The popular food mela, Yuva Dasara, sports meet, and other cultural events will not take place this time to prevent people from gathering at the areas risking further spread of Covid-19.”

A key attraction of the festival, the Jumbo Savari— a grand procession of elephants carrying idols of deities including Sri Chamundeshwari from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap Grounds — will also be restricted this time, Tourism Minister C T Ravi informed.

“The number of elephants will be restricted to five and the procession will take place within the palace premises and not through the main streets of the city. However, the important circles in the city will be illuminated using electric lights for the celebrations,” he said. The procession takes place on the day of Vijayadashami or Dussehra when the 10-day festival culminates.

Meanwhile, CM Yediyurappa also announced that the government has decided to release a budget of Rs 10 crore for the Dasara celebrations this year. This is in place of the Rs 50 crore budget that the state spends per year on average on its official state festival.

“However, representatives of the state’s ‘Covid warriors’ including sanitation workers (pourakarmikas), doctors, nurses, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, and police personnel will be invitees to the event and will be felicitated for their meritorious services,” the CM said. He further added that the frontline warriors will light the lamp different from the tradition of popular personalities invited to do the same as the state’s guests.

At the same time, Minister Ravi said that the decision to organise the event in a simple manner was taken to avoid burdening the government workers with additional work as they continue to be occupied with pandemic-related duties.

“We felt it was inappropriate to pressurise them (government workers) who are already busy with various duties related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It was observed that burdening them with additional Dasara duties might also affect Covid-19 management,” he said.

No sale, marketing of China-made products: CM Yediyurappa

CM Yediyuappa directed top government officials involved in conducting the celebrations not to allow the sale and marketing of Chinese products in the city. He explained that such a step is taken to ensure that the State rises up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of being self-reliant and to support the Atmanirbhar programme of the central government

This year’s Dasara celebrations are scheduled to be held from October 17 to 27. An estimated 10 lakh people visit Mysuru every year during the festive season.

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