Dasara exhibition: KEA seeks 15-day extension
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Dasara exhibition: KEA seeks 15-day extension

January 5, 2024

16 lakh visitors in 75 days; Jan. 12 closing date; If Govt. agrees, expo to be extended till Jan. 28

Mysore/Mysuru: Buoyed by the overwhelming response to the Dasara exhibition, the Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) has submitted a proposal to the Government to extend the annual exhibition for 15 days.

The exhibition which began on Oct. 15, 2023, is scheduled to conclude on Jan. 12, 2024.

Unlike 2022 when the exhibition saw 17 lakh visitors in 98 days, the number of footfalls has increased by 20 percent this time, thus emerging as one of the favourite tourist spots after several other tourist attractions in the region.

The surge in visitors is largely attributed to the ‘Shakti’ scheme, which provides free travel facilities for women in KSRTC buses. The exhibition alone witnessed 16 lakh tourists in 75 days. As dusk falls, people prefer to shop and spend some time at amusement parks along with their children.

More crowds expected

With seven days left for the exhibition to shut shop on Jan. 12, four lakh more people are expected to turn up with the total number of visitors touching 20 lakh. If extended by a fortnight, the number of visitors will be even more, according to KEA officers.

During the nine days of Navarathri (Oct. 15 to 24, 2023), about 70,000 tourists visited the exhibition and during Deepavali, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, over 50,000 visitors were recorded.

There are 145 commercial stalls, 60 stalls in the food court, 40 Government stalls, and 46 varieties of amusement. Among Government stalls, those of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department and Mandya Jaggery grabbed eyeballs.

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For the benefit of visitors, KEA had this time opened a luggage counter for the ease of those travelling from distant places, who can keep their luggage at the exclusive counter before walking around. Selfie points and innovative amusements were also the other attractions. Besides, 70 CCTV cameras had been installed as a foolproof security measure.

Hike in tender cost by Rs. 3.44 crore

Fun World and Resort India Pvt. Ltd., bagged the tender to conduct the exhibition for Rs. 11.52 crore in 2023 against Rs. 8.08 crore bid won in 2022. Though the tender amount this time was hiked by Rs.3.44 crore, the increase in the number of visitors has brought a smile on the face of the successful bidder, who had also requested KEA authorities to extend the exhibition.

Next besige mela

We have written to the Government and if it consents, the exhibition will be extended up to Jan. 28 or else will wind up as per the schedule on Jan. 12. On the other hand, preparations for ‘besige mela’ (summer exhibition) are on and the traders have also expressed their willingness to set up the stalls. —Rajesh G. Gowda, Chief Executive Officer (CEO),  Karnataka Exhibition Authority

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