To ensure Tourism Minister’s inaugural ride in the evening passes off smoothly
Mysore/Mysuru: ‘Ambaari,’ a specially-built open roof top double-decker bus operated by Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), will be dedicated to the State by Tourism Minister C.P. Yogeeshwar at a programme in Mysuru at 5.45 pm today.
The Minister will flag off the bus service at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel on the sidelines of ‘Connect-2021’ organised by Tourism Department and Karnataka Tourism Society. KSTDC Chairperson and actress Shruthi Krishna and other tourism stakeholders will be present.
Based on the model of London’s ‘Big Bus Tours’ of taking tourists around the city in open-roof buses, the ‘Ambaari’ is a ‘Hop-on and Hop-off’ initiative for tourists to experience the magnificent City of Palaces and other heritage and cultural structures.
Six buses have arrived in city for the grand inauguration and the project, worth Rs. 5 crore, was announced for tourism destinations of Mysuru and Hampi in the 2019-2020 Budget by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. Rs. 250 has been fixed per person for the city tour on ‘Ambaari.’
Instructions to drivers
Ahead of today evening’s inauguration, all the six buses began their dry runs from 9 am on the designated routes to ensure that there are no obstructions during the Minister’s inauguration. Fuel was filled to the brim and all the bus drivers were instructed to follow the designated routes.
The double-decker buses have a height of 15 feet and it has been attractively painted. It has a capacity to take 40 people and has lower and upper decks. The buses were built in Bengaluru and the body wrapping has been done based on Karnataka’s forms and has motifs representing the rich culture, diversity, wildlife and tourist attractions.
All the six buses started from the KSTDC Office premises (Hotel Mayura on JLB Road) and went around the city where drivers of the buses were instructed to watch out out-grown tree branches and dangling cable wires despite the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) pruning the branches and removing the hanging wires a month back.
Ensuring Minister’s comforts
Tourism Department sources told Star of Mysore that they want the Minister’s inaugural event to pass of incident-free as Yogeeshwar himself was scheduled to go on city rounds in one of the open-roof buses. But officials were not too sure about the Minister going on a city tour as it is his whirlwind tour of Mysuru.
Today morning’s dry run had a frequency of every 30 minutes and the buses covered the entire route to come back to KSTDC Office. The dry run went on till about noon. “We want to popularise the bus and today we have made all the buses to go on the designated routes every half an hour. We want the people to recognise ‘Ambaari’ and hop on it to take a tour,” Tourism Department officials said.
The first bus came to city in March last year with an ambition of launching it to attract tourists. But that did not happen due to outbreak of Coronavirus. It may be recalled here that in January this year, the bus had completed two or three trial runs to ensure that tree branches and cables do not obstruct its movement. The one ‘Ambaari’ that arrived in Mysuru for the launch had to be parked in the KSTDC Office premises till today.
Tourists will get an audio guide the moment the bus reaches the tourist sites identified on the route. The audio will be available in two languages in the beginning — Kannada and English — and the KSTDC has plans to add a couple of foreign languages later.
The ‘Ambaari’ route covers Hotel Mayura KSTDC Office, Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Crawford Hall, Manasagangothri Entrance Gate, Oriental Research Institute (ORI), Ramaswamy Circle, Sanskrit Patashaala, Mysuru City Corporation, Jaganmohan Palace, K.R. Circle, Town Hall, Gandhi Square, Dodda Gadiyara (Silver Jubilee Clock Tower), Palace South Gate, Jayamarthanda Gate, Hardinge Circle, Glass House, Mysuru Zoo, Karanji Lake, Jockey Quarters Circle (Chamundi Hill Circle), Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, Snow City, Chamundi Vihar Stadium, Five Light Circle, St. Philomena’s Church, Fountain Circle, LIC Circle in Bannimantap, Highway Circle, Bamboo Bazaar Road, Government Ayurveda College Circle, Railway Station Circle and back to Hotel Mayura Hoysala on JLB Road.