Mysuru: Is the Dasara Exhibition held every year at the Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) Grounds, opposite the Mysore Palace, an exercise in futility for hundreds of shop-keepers who set up shop at the Grounds as part of annual Dasara celebrations?
This question begs an answer, since the shop-owners are a wearied lot, as their business has suffered, though the footfalls to the exhibition keeps growing. Their cry that except on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the daily business on other days hardly crosses Rs.1,000, shows their plight in trying to do business at the Exhibition.
The main reason for this steep fall in business is because most of the customers chose to buy their products online and as a result, when they visit the Exhibition except for window shopping, they are hardly interested in making any purchases, say most of the shop-keepers expressing their concern.
A handloom shop owner Balu, speaking to Star of Mysore said, “Today every item is available online and people book them and get the items at their doorstep. Hence, the number of people buying in shops is going down and this is affecting our business. They come see the items on display, and they go and eat Masala Dosa and visit other food stalls.”
Shankar and Arun Kumar said, “When compared to last year, there are more people visiting the Exhibition this year. However, only on Saturdays and Sundays there is good business. On other days, there is hardly any business.”
6,000 visit Expo: In the light of Christmas holidays for schools and colleges, there are a lot of tourists visiting Mysuru and going to places of tourist interest like Chamundi Hill, Palace, Zoo and the Dasara Exhibition. Nearly 6,000 people visited the Exhibition and went around the Government Stalls like Higher Education, Sericulture, Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Kannada and Culture, Industries and Commerce, D. Devaraj Urs Backward Classes Development, Karnataka Soaps and Detergents, Dr. Babu Jagjivan Ram Leather Development Corporation and other Departments. Then they made a beeline to the food stalls and after consuming lip-smacking dishes, hardly did any shopping and left the venue.
There are 143 spacious stalls built at a cost of Rs.2 crore. Out of this, seven stalls were handed over to Government Departments and the remaining 136 stalls rented out to shopkeepers. The nearly three-month expo will close on Jan.7, 2019.
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