Drought shadow may rob Mysuru Dasara of its gusto

Last Updated 10 August 2015, 20:27 IST

The State government may keep the Dasara celebrations a low-key affair this year as the State is facing a severe drought.

Addressing the media after chairing a meeting of the high-level committee on Mysuru Dasara in Bengaluru on Monday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that a final decision on this would be taken in two or three days, after holding consultations with opposition party leaders, writers and experts. The matter will also be discussed during the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“It was unanimously felt by all members that the celebrations should be a low-key affair. However, the degree of austerity has to be decided. Also, tourism might get affected, now that Mysuru has been declared the cleanest among 476 cities in the country. All these aspects will have to be factored in,” he said.

The chief minister said that the committee was yet to decide as to who will inaugurate the Nada Habba.

Earlier in the meeting, Revenue Minister V Sreenivas Prasad, also the Mysuru district in-charge minister, said that the State was facing its worst drought since 1972. The entire State had recorded less than normal rainfall both in July and August. He suggested that the government adopt austerity measures in its programmes, including Dasara celebrations.

While a majority of the members, elected representatives from Mysuru district, officials and others, agreed with Prasad, members like JD(S) MLC Sandesh Nagaraj are said to have cautioned the government against making an announcement to this effect. It would ruin tourism prospects, they said.

While BJP MLC Go Madhusudan suggested that the government do away with free passes to cut down on unnecessary expenditure, Congress MLA Tanveer Sait felt that a Mysuru Regional Tourism Authority should be constituted to organise Dasara.

This way, the financial burden and responsibilities on the government can be reduced, while organising Dasara. If the Authority is given the freedom to organise some of the popular events, it can gain financial independence and this can become a permanent arrangement, Sait said.

Ministers R V Deshpande, H S Mahadeva Prasad and H C Mahadevappa were present in the meeting.

(Published 10 August 2015, 20:27 IST)

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