KARNATAKA

Dasara festivities begin on Oct. 7

MYSORE OCT. 3. Dasara festivities will commence on October 7 in a traditional manner, but devoid of any pomp or grandeur, according to the Mysore District in-charge minister, H. Vishwanath.

He told presspersons here on Wednesday that the decision was taken after a prolonged meeting.

"The tradition of Dasara should not be discontinued on any count, but the grandeur of celebrations will be scaled down bearing in mind the unprecedented drought, the Cauvery agitation, and tension in the region," he said.

Mr. Vishwanath said the festivities would begin with special prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi Hills.

While C.N.R. Rao, scientist, would inaugurate the festival, the Chief Minister S.M. Krishna, would inaugurate the "jumboo savari" on October 15.

The Government has sanctioned Rs. 72 lakh for the festival of which, Rs. 40 lakh has been released.

The authorities are curtailing expenses and inviting only local artistes to perform at cultural programmes, thus saving on honorarium.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Commissioner, Kumar Naik, the Commissioner of the Mysore City Corporation, Selva Kumar, the Karnataka Exhibition Authority Chairman, Raghu, the Mayor, T.B. Chikkanna, and other officials.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Pragati Ranga has criticised the Government for persisting with Dasara celebrations amid drought.

In a press release, K. Ramdas of the ranga said that it was not right on the part of the Government to celebrate Dasara when farmers were facing problems because of drought for the second consecutive year.

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