Mysuru: Sixty-nine-year-old Mysuru district in-charge minister, V Somanna, walked the 4.8-km stretch of the Jumbo Savari route on Saturday accompanied by officers and elected representatives to make sure everything was in place for the grand finale of the 10-day Dasara festivities, which will see caparisoned elephants walk in procession from the Mysuru palace to the Bannimantap.
Mr Somanna, who wore leather slippers and a white shirt and black trousers, joined the Dasara jumbos when they began their regular walk down the route at 6.40 am from the north gate of Mysuru palace.
Before setting off, the minister garlanded the statue of Kannada film icon Rajkumar near the palace and reached the Bannimantap grounds at 8.40 am. Along the route , he took note of every little aspect from the unpainted barricades to potholes and uncleared garbage on the footpaths and instructed corporation officials to set things right. He told them to make sure that toilets and drinking water were available for the tourists lining the route of the procession.
He directed the deputy commissioner to come up with a master plan for the comprehensive development of the city. Asked what the secret of his energy was, Mr Somanna said, “It's my enthusiasm to make sure that the world famous Dasara festival goes off smoothly. I also plan to walk around the entire city and go to the villages of Mysuru district, where we plan to hold rural Dasaras.”
Mr Somanna, who launched the Dasara logo and Dasara website, said of the Rs 18.50 crore allotted for the Mysuru Dasara festivities, Rs 1 crore would be given for Chamarajanagar Dasara. “And we will talk to the CM to give more funds for Srirangapatna Dasara,” he added, revealing that Gundlupet MLA Narendra was in charge of Chamarajanagar Dasara and Srirangapatna MLA Ravindra Srikantaiah of Srirangapatna Dasara.
The website, which gives details about the events, tourism destinations, and contact numbers, can be accessed on smart phones and tablets. The contents are available in not just Kannada and English but in 10 other languages as well to help tourists.