Dasara: Inauguration marathon on

Dasara: Inauguration marathon on

Tourism minister absent; Tourism Dasara turns out to be a damp squib

At a time when everybody is chanting austerity, Dasara was supposed to be held ‘traditionally’.

Tongawallahs line up with their tongas in front of the Palace in Mysore on Tuesday for the inaugural function of Tourism Dasara. DH photo

Even the Dasara special officer, deputy commissioner P S Vastrad, had circulated a note urging all sub-committees to avoid wasteful expenditure.

But, the directions have only been violated with separate inaugural functions turning out to be futile.

State tourism minister Anand Singh was supposed to inaugurate ‘Tourism Dasara’ at 3 pm on Tuesday on the premises of the Palace in front of the Durbar Hall here at a function organised by the Dasara Tourism Sub-Committee.

However, Anand Singh had not even arrived at Mysore. The programme was then changed and district in-charge minister S A Ramdas symbolically inaugurated a kiosk and distributed brochures and booklets to foreign tourists much later.

Apart from the main programme held atop the Chamundi Hill, where seer Sri Siddeshwara Swamiji inaugurated the Dasara festivities in the presence of chief minister Jagadish Shettar, nine more events were scheduled to be inaugurated under their respective sub-committees on Tuesday itself by various dignitaries.

There are 25 sub-committees with presidents, vice-presidents and members and everybody wants to hog the limelight.

So, the inauguration spree goes on till the inauguration of the Jamboo Savari on October 24, the grand finale. On October 17 there are four; on October 18, seven; October 19, two; three on October 20; and one each on October 21, 22 and 23.

Illumination

Inauguration of even illumination by energy minister had been scheduled. Illumination is not new to Mysoreans.

It has become a part and parcel of their life. And, if it is for Dasara, the streets and circles are being lit up over the past one week and the festive mood is already in the air.

The formality was to switch off all decorative lights at K R Circle and ask the minister to switch them on! At the last moment the programme was rescheduled and minister Shobha Karandlaje switched on the lights at ‘Hasiru Chappara’ on Sayyaji Rao road near Ayurveda College Circle.

Neglect

One of the Dasara Tourism Sub-Committee members, who prefered to remain anonymous, who was disillusioned with the absence of the tourism minister, said all arrangements were made but the programme turned out to be a damp-squib.

He said: “The sub-committee has printed a folder with all information about important tourist places in and around Mysore to be handed over to tourists at kiosks set up across the city at vantage points. The folder also includes two route maps, one exclusively of the city. There are also other vital information for tourists.”

“We have provided Mysore turbans and uniforms to all tongawallahs and drivers of horse-drawn carriages. They have been lined up for the inaugural function. A separate podium has been put up with seating arrangement for 250 people. Now, we are disappointed,” he said. “It is an irony that the tourism minister has skipped the biggest tourism event in the most important tourist place in the state,” he added.

Folders and uniforms to tongawallahs are actually helpful in promoting tourism. However, the expenditure on the inaugural function itself seemed to have become futile.

Even industries minister Murugesh Nirani skipped the inauguration of Dasara Exhibition at the Exhibition Grounds, Doddakere maidan.

Sources in the tourism department said the invitations for some of the events have not even reached the ministers concerned.
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