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Details of Dasara expenditure will be released by November 1: Minister

The details of the expenditure incurred by the State government on Dasara celebrations will be released by November 1, said S.T. Somashekar, Minister in charge of Mysuru district, on Tuesday

Mr. Somashekar, who is also the Minister for Cooperation, told reporters in Mysuru that the State government had sanctioned ₹15 crore for the Dasara celebrations, which included ₹5 crore from Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA). But, all the expenses came under the ₹10 crore sanctioned by the government, and the MUDA fund was not utilised, he said. “The breakup will be released by November 1,” he added.

With the government deciding to scale down the celebrations and keep them simple in view of COVID-19, he said the number of elephants participating in the Dasara festivities had been brought down to just five instead of the 12 to 15.

Similarly, he said the illumination of roads too was considerably reduced. Instead of about 100 km, only about 50 km of roads in the city were illuminated this year.

This year’s Dasara programmes were restricted to Chamundi Hills and Mysuru palace, and the number of people gathering for the events was within the numbers fixed by the technical advisory committee on COVID-19.

Though the number of people at the Dasara programme venues atop Chamundi Hills and Mysuru palace was limited this year, Mr. Somashekar claimed lakhs had watched the programmes virtually, through Doordarshan, Facebook, YouTube, private television channels, and social media.

A large number of people watched the Jamboo Savari, which had been confined to the palace premises on Monday, on the Facebook page of the Department of Information and Public Relation.

The Dasara programmes webcast on the Facebook page alone recorded six lakh views, Mr. Somashekar said. This was in addition to the lakhs of views on the links provided by different media houses, he added.

Though the Dasara festivities remained simple, the festival was celebrated in a meaningful manner with cardiologist C.N. Manjunath inaugurating the festivities atop Chamundi Hills, while corona warriors, including a pourakarmika, an ASHA, a police personnel, a health officer, and a social activist, were felicitated.

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