The State government has decided to celebrate Dasara in a grand manner following copious rains in the state.
The celebrations will start on October 5 and last till October 14. The festival was a low key affair in the last two years due to drought.
The first meeting of a high-level committee, headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday, decided to invite Jnanapith awardee Chandrashekhar Kambar to inaugurate the Dasara by offering puja at the Chamundeshwari temple in Mysore. The government also sanctioned `10 crore for Dasara preparations. The CM instructed Finance Department to immediately release funds. He also directed them to make special lighting arrangements for the Mysore Palace. He launched Dasara logo for this year.
He asked the officials to lay stress on promoting tourism besides showcasing art and culture of the State during the festival. He even asked the officials to bring artistes from neighbouring states to make the festival more complete and interesting. Siddaramaiah also asked them to waive the road tax on all tourist vehicles for 30 days to encourage more people to take part in Dasara. Revenue Minister V Srinivasa Prasad said that no key dignitaries from outside the state, including Union Ministers, will be invited to the festival in view of terror alerts by the Centre.
“Providing security to State guests will be a tough task as we need to tighten security for all tourists visiting the festival in view of terror alerts. So we have decided not to invite anyone from outside,” he said. He added that he will have a review meeting on security aspects with Home Minster K J George.
Probably for the first time in the history of Dasara, all key positions are held by women starting with Mysore Deputy Commissioner C Shikha. Besides her, the Divisional Commissioner is M V Jayanthi while Principal Secretary Amita Prasad is in charge of Mysore district.
Shikha urged the CM to write a letter to the Centre asking army, navy and airforce to participate along with their battle equipment during the procession. Ministers H C Mahadevappa, Santosh Lad, R V Deshpande and Umashree also attended the meeting.