Special team of officers to ensure full-fledged opening; tender floated for Rs. 8.9 crore
Mysuru: If all unfolds as planned, the Dasara Exhibition at Doddakere Maidan, opposite the Mysore Palace, will be fully operational with all stalls open on Oct. 15, coinciding with the commencement of Navaratri festivities this year.
Amidst the recurrent concern of tourism stakeholders, who lament the absence of a compelling permanent attraction to retain tourists in Mysuru beyond the Dasara procession and a few local points of interest, the timely opening of the Dasara Exhibition remains a challenge. Every year, when the Dasara exhibition is inaugurated on the festival’s first day, visitors are greeted with vacant stalls.
Held annually at Doddakere Maidan, this event provides artisans from all corners of India a platform to showcase and vend their exquisite creations. It also serves as an avenue for presenting government initiatives and programmes to enhance social awareness.
Despite the Karnataka Exhibition Authority’s (KEA) efforts to enhance the exhibition grounds with the necessary infrastructure, both vendors and government entities seem to take their own leisurely pace in preparing their stalls. Despite the KEA’s annual assertions of having meticulously prepared the groundwork to entice departments and vendors to set up shop during Dasara, very few stalls are actually operational during festival.
According to available information, a global tender of Rs. 8.9 crore has been issued this time for the 90-day exhibition. The successful bidder will also oversee gate entry fees, the amusement park, private stalls and parking fees. The e-tender process is expected to conclude by the end of the month, revealing the exact number of bidders.
To rectify common grievances about the exhibition commencing with vacant stalls, the KEA has assembled a special team of officers to ensure seamless preparations. This initiative addresses past concerns, where Government Departments failed to open their stalls in the dedicated expo lane even months after the exhibition inauguration.
Despite strict instructions from the District Administration, Zilla Panchayat Officers and other Boards and Corporations were lax in preparing stalls on time, leaving only a handful operational towards the exhibition’s end. To prevent such issues, officers have proactively taken measures to ensure stalls are ready on time.
“Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and District Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa, who are attentive to Dasara Exhibition matters, have directed KEA to guarantee a comprehensive exhibition, with all stalls, including those of Government bodies, Boards, and Corporations, occupied. KEA has already communicated stall dimensions to various Zilla Panchayat Offices in the State, urging them to complete stalls by Oct. 15,” explained Rajesh G. Gowda, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KEA.
Notably, a Supervisory Committee comprising officers has been formed at KEA to liaise with interested ZPs, Boards and Corporations every alternate day, expediting stall-related tasks and ensuring readiness before Dasara commences,” he said.
This year, a luggage room is being introduced at the Dasara Exhibition for the convenience of tourists and the general public. Positioned at the main entrance, the luggage room will be under constant CCTV surveillance and security personnel, as detailed by Rajesh Gowda.
Adding to the attraction, the Congress Government’s five pre-poll guarantees — Shakti, Anna Bhagya, Gruha Jyothi, Gruha Lakshmi and Yuva Nidhi — will take the centre stage, prominently displayed as part of a directive from CM Siddharamaiah.
Diverging from past practices, stalls are being constructed with innovative concepts. Meticulous arrangements are being made for Government stalls and those offering various items, including eateries. Special emphasis is being placed on providing adequate space for women’s self-help groups (SHGs) products, along with stalls for selling Geographical Indicator (GI) products of Mysuru, such as Nanjangud Rasabale (a banana variety) and Mysore Veelyadele (Mysore betel leaf). Additionally, stalls for the Social Welfare Department, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Development Corporation and others are in the pipeline.
By M. T. Yogesh Kumar
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