Officials want to streamline Dasara celebrations

Jan 29, 2018

Mysuru: If the district administration has its way, the contractors who extend services for Dasara could get their bills settled days after the festivities are over, unlike now when they have to wait for months to get the money.
Ahead of the state budget, deputy commissioner D Randeep has approached the Kannada and culture department seeking Rs 16-crore budgetary allocation for the 2018 edition of Dasara.

Pointing out that Dasara 2018 will start from October 10, he stated: “Allocate Rs 16 crore for the festivities and release the funds two months ahead of Dasara.” This will help the officials plan and execute the festivities effectively, he said.

While the authorities are focusing on promoting tourism in the city by branding the tourist hub as an all-weather destination, they are seeking to streamline Dasara celebrations by planning in advance.

Though the calendar of events for the 10-day festivities in September-October will be known well in advance, planning doesn’t start till June-July when the CM-headed high power committee meets. The district administration is seeking to change it as the experts have suggested to plan well in advance to help both the tourists, especially from abroad, and the officials to plan better.

In his letter to the Kannada and culture secretary Chakravathy Mohan on January 22, which Randeep released to media on Sunday, he pointed out the difficulties the officials face when the events are not planned well in advance. He has reminded the government that the contractors approach the officials seeking settlement of bills while the officials approach the government seeking release of funds.

During 2016, Dasara was celebrated from October 1 and the government allocated Rs 14.25 crore. It released Rs 6.80 crore in September that year, while Rs 6.45 crore were released in August, 2017, nine months after the end of the festivities.

For Dasara 2017, the government allocated Rs 15 crore funds and has released Rs 4.50 crore in September, days ahead of the festival. The remaining amount of Rs 10.45 crore is yet to be released. The bills submitted by the contractors are yet to be settled.

It is common grouse of the contractors that they don’t get the bills settled after the festivities are through and they have to follow up with the officials regularly. There are instances when some contractors and service providers have restrained from extending services during Dasara owing to delay in payment of bills. The district administration is seeking to fix it and streamline the process as Dasara is an annual festival celebrated in the city with funding from the government.

‘Open stalls in advance’

DC Randeep has asked the Kannada and culture department to initiate the process by August to open the stalls promoting government schemes and projects at Dasara Exhibition during the festivities. This will help fix the problem of delay in opening the stalls.

Generally, the Dasara Exhibition is opened on the day of the launch of Dasara celebrations. But almost always the government stalls remain empty and take weeks to be ready. There are cases when the stalls were opened days before the expo concluded.