Flu, rain threat hang over Dasara

Mysore airport may open on Sept 22

Shahpasand Tongawallahs participating at a Dasara publicity rally in Mysore on Friday. As many as 40 tongas have been selected to ferry tourists near important locations in the city. DH Photo by Prashanth H G

This year, however, dark clouds have been threatening to dampen the spirit of Dasara for the past few days. The City has witnessed copious rains in the past one week, leaving the authorities wondering if there will be enough crowd during the inauguration of Dasara.

Another spoilsport could be the fear of H1N1 influenza. Though there is no need for panic over the pandemic, the tourists seem to have been playing safe as the usual crowd is missing on the streets.

About 1,013 cases have been investigated for H1N1, 113 samples have been sent for the test while 14 persons have tested positive for the flu. Nearly 164 people are being treated for the symptoms. Probably, this could be one of the reasons for people from other states not attending the celebrations in Mysore, said an official in the district administration. 

Security arrangement

Security was beefed up last year in the wake of threat from terrorists, which had adversely affected the flow of tourists during Dasara.

Nearly 3,000 police personnel have been deployed and two battalions of RAF and CISF will be pressed into service this year. The officials said, more forces will be summoned on the last day of Dasara.  

Though all resorts and hotels in Mysore are ‘seemingly’ booked for delegates, a lot of hotels have slashed rates to attract tourists.

“Artificial scarcity is being created since the hoteliers want to make good for the loss incurred during the last year’s Dasara,” said Rajani Balaji, who has travelled from Andhra to witness Dasara.

The differences among District In-Charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje and local MLAs, including S A Ramdas and H S Shankarlinge Gowda, may have its impact on Dasara and several BJP activists may decide to stay away from festivities.

Cultural feast

Among those who will be performing in front of the illuminated Palace are Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Dr Balamurali Krishna, Jagjit Singh and Shubha Mudgal.
At Yuva Dasara, a host of multi-lingual singers like Shaan, Kunal Ganjawala, Shreya Goshal are all set to entertain the young crowd at Maharaja’s Grounds.

Airport inauguration

Besides, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and several ministers are expected to arrive in a special flight at Mandakalli Airport on Saturday.

The much-awaited Mysore Airport is likely to be inaugurated on September 22 by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel.

DH News Service

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