The Karnataka government on Friday decided to organise the famous Mysuru Dasara festival this year in a “simple and traditional" manner, keeping in mind the COVID-19 concerns. “Mysuru Dasara is also the Nada Habba (state festival). Last year we celebrated it in a traditional and simple manner due to COVID. This time too we will celebrate it likewise," Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said He was speaking to reporters after chairing a high-level committee meeting on Mysuru Dasara.
Bommai said that all the rituals connected with the celebrations such as inauguration of the festivities atop Chamundi Hills, Jamboo Savari (procession of caparisoned elephants) and lighting of the entire city for 10-days will be conducted.
“We have decided to release Rs six crore to celebrate Dasara festival at Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Sriragapatna," he said.
The Chief Minister, in response to a question, said festivities and cultural events will be restricted to the Amba Vilas Palace and the Chamundeshwari Temple. The renowned Jamboo Savari will also take place inside the Mysuru Palace premises like the last year.
The high-level committee authorised the Chief Minister to select the eminent personality to inaugurate the 10-day cultural and religious festival.
“We have authorised the CM to choose who should inaugurate the festival this time, Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar, who is in charge of COVID-19 affairs in Mysuru district, said. The 10-day long festivities will be flagged off on October 7 at the Chamundi Hills. Last year, the government had chosen five corona warriors to inaugurate the festival.
Somashekar said the Jamboo Savari will take place on October 15 at 2.45 pm Noting that last year, 150 people were permitted for the inaugural, 50 for cultural events and 300 for the Jamboo Savari, he said “We asked the CM to double this. But experts have warned of a third wave of COVID-19 in September-October. So after September 20, depending on the situation, a decision will be taken. If cases go up, then last year’s restrictions on the number of people will continue."
The Chief Minister said the meeting also decided to release Rs 8.09 crore arrears of the 2019 Dasara. “I have directed the officials to maintain financial discipline, see to it that the expenditure does not cross the grant released for the year and ensure accountability, as well as transparency, he said.
Several elected representatives at the meeting requested the CM to establish a Tourist Circuit in Mysore region. “I will discuss with the minister for tourism and officials concerned to make optimum utilisation of the opportunity under the existing tourism policy," Bommai said, adding that tourism has taken a hit due to COVID-19, resulting in economic slowdown. In this background, concrete steps will be taken to promote tourism.
The chief minister directed the officials to submit an estimate for developing infrastructure in Mysuru in connection with the Dasara celebrations.