The Government is likely to constitute a Dasara Authority to plan and organise the festivities in an orderly manner and give a greater thrust to tourism, culture and heritage of the region, Minister for Medical Education S.A. Ramdas, who is in charge of Mysore district, has said.

A decision is likely to be announced within 90 days, he added.

The Minister was speaking during a discussion organised by the Mysore District Journalists Association here on Wednesday on the feasibility of constituting the Dasara Authority.

The role of the authority would not just be confined to preparing for the Naada Habba but also similar events elsewhere in the State. Tourism, heritage, art and cultural components too would come under its ambit. It could network with organisations involved with promoting tourism and conservation of heritage to ensure better utilisation of resources, Mr. Ramdas said.

The setting up of a permanent body would eliminate the risk of the preparations being disrupted owing to any political instability or change in Government, he said.

Besides, it would also reduce the role of the Deputy Commissioner to that of a coordinator, so that the other activities of the district administration would not come to a standstill. “The constitution of a full-fledged Dasara Authority will obviate the need for the district administration to be involved in the day-to-day aspects of the festivities,” the Minister said.

Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta pointed out that identifying the core elements of Dasara would eliminate many of the problems associated with the management and organisation of the event in Mysore. The district administration should not be wasting its efforts in organising concerts and dances, such as those during Entertainment Dasara, as providing security, arranging for passes and taking care of the artistes amounted to a waste of manpower and time for them.

However, he cautioned that constituting a permanent body was not a magic wand with which to reduce the problems associated with holding the celebrations.

‘At the cost of culture'

Professor Nanjaraje Urs lamented the dilution of the core elements of the festival and the thrust on tourism, at, he felt, the cost of culture and heritage.

Journalist Krishna Vattam said the new body should be dovetailed with the Exhibition Authority and evolve as a policy-making body. M. Rajendra, president of the Hotel Owners Association said it was necessary to promote tourism through Dasara.

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