The ‘Dasara Thali’ has fallen victim to inflation. The thali used to be served at Rs 30 to tourists and locals during Dasara.
The thali, which included a bowl of rice, three puris, palya (vegetable curry), sweet, sambar, rasam, pickle and butter milk, was mooted in the 2011 Dasara by then District In-charge Minister S A Ramdas.
The intention was to cater to the poor and lower middle-class people visiting the city for the festivities.The regular thali at Mysore hotels ranges from Rs 50 to Rs 99, depending on the restaurant. In 2011, the Dasara thali cost Rs 25. It rose to Rs 30 in 2012. But when the district administration asked hoteliers to continue this low-priced thali this year, the request was turned down flat.
A hotelier told Express: “It is very difficult to provide the thali at a low price as the cost of gas, milk, vegetables are increasing frequently. If the district administration insists on it, quality will suffer. In the last two years, we served butter milk with the thali instead of curd. This shows how the consumer is denied quality or required items.’’
M R Raghuveer Puranik, proprietor of Hotel Vishnu Priya in Shivarampet, said the concept of Dasara Thali was good, but it is not viable. “Since hoteliers cannot compromise on quality and afford to lose their brand name, it was decided to stop Dasara Thali this year,” he affirmed.
Jayachandra, a native of Palahalli in Srirangapatna taluk, who is visiting the city, said: “Bearing the commercial price for meals is a costly affair for the people visiting Mysore for Dasara. During the days of the Maharajas, people were given free food and accommodation in choultries. Now there is no such tradition and Dasara has become an event for high class people, officials, politicians.’’
Food Fair Committee President Rajendra, who is also president of Mysore Hoteliers Association, said as an alternative to the Dasara Thali, hoteliers will open their stalls in the food fair at the Scouts and Guides Ground will provide food at affordable cost to the poor.