'Dasara Authority' soon, says District-In-charge Minister

Talking to media persons after sending off Dasara elephants at palace premises here on Wednesday, he stressed on the need for setting up of the authority to ensure smooth conduct of Dasara programmes every year. The chief minister, B S Yeddyurappa is also interested in having the authority. A final decision would be taken in due consultation with the CM and then start working out modalities.

Replying to a query, Ramdas said so far it is not decided who should head the authority-whether deputy commissioner or some other person. But, the authority would be a separate entity with a separate office, dedicated staff and facilities. Their job would be to start preparing for Dasara festival soon after the ‘Vijayadashami’ procession. There is also a need for an office of Department of Heritage in Mysore since this city has a more number of heritage buildings that need conservation. There are complaints that the heritage commissioner is not at all visiting the city to monitor steps being taken for protection of heritage monuments.

No orders

Asked whether there was any order from the State government to reduce spending on Dasara festival, the minister denied any such order and claimed that instructions had been given to district administration to spend whatever amount released by the government to make the event a grand success. It has come to his knowledge that the district administration did not spend money given by the government. In fact, the CM had announced on the day of inauguration that the government was ready to give Rs 10 crore every year for celebrations of Dasara in much pomp and gaiety.

Ramdas said he is planning to hold a meeting of senior officials in a day or two to find out reasons for several shortfalls during 400th year of Dasara festival. Necessary instructions would be given to the authorities concerned to avoid such things in the coming Dasaras. The constitution of Dasara Authority would address all issues like inviting artists for palace and for other venues, category of artists, selection of cultural events, amount to be paid for artists and passes for programmes.

When media persons brought to his notice that the authorities have paid around Rs 20 lakh for Sonu Nigam but were not ready to pay even Rs 2,000 for folk artists, Ramdas promised to look into those issues. The CM would be briefed about the meeting with officials, he added.

He also assured to impress upon the CM to give a job for Sannappa, a mahout of Balarama elephant, who is due for retirement in December, in forest department. Sannappa gave a memorandum and it would be forwarded to Forest Minister C H Vijayshankar for necessary action.

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