- Not available both online and offline; public angry
- Authorities helpless due to pressure from VVIPs
Mysuru: As Jumboo Savari and the Torchlight Parade are grand annual events with pomp and pageantry, the controversy over Dasara Gold Cards, passes and tickets is raging.
While authorities express their helplessness every year in this regard saying they have to consider recommendations from VVIPs while distributing passes and Gold Cards, the public allege that they have no information on the number of Gold Cards and tickets printed, how many have been given to VVIPs and how many are on sale.
This year, there is a huge public anger against the authorities for ‘denying’ Gold Cards and tickets despite standing in queues and ready to shell out money. Room Number 21 at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office has been designated as the place for the public to buy tickets and Gold Cards.
No information to public
However, forget the sale, no official is present there to provide any information. Last evening, people standing in front of the room protested and shouted slogans against the authorities.
The citizens alleged that the Gold Cards, passes and tickets have been given off en-masse to VVIPs and certain associations belonging to the hospitality industry to be sold to their clients.
SOM too has been receiving calls from irate public who are denouncing this VVIP culture. The Gold Card which gives access to all events organised during the 10-day long event is priced at Rs.3,999. Along with the Gold Cards, a sale of tickets worth Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 for Jumboo Savari was also announced both online and offline. Tickets for the Torchlight Parade at Bannimantap is priced at Rs.250
Online tickets unavailable
While the online visitors could visit www.mysoredasara.gov.in and www.bookmyshow.com to book tickets, offline visitors had to stand before Room No.21 on the ground floor of the DC’s Office. According to people who checked online immediately after the Gold Card announcement was made, they got the message which said, “Sorry, you are trying to book tickets for a show which is past the booking time. Try another show.”
People who continued to pour in outside Room No.21 to purchase Gold Card and tickets were disappointed as the room was locked and there was no one to give information. Though frequently display boards were put up in front of the room that the tickets will be sold at a particular time, only 25 to 50 tickets are sold at that given time while the number of people standing in the queue is more than 300 to 400, creating chaos.
Sources told SOM that like every year, this year too, a major chunk of Gold Cards and tickets were taken by various associations linked with the hospitality and travel industries. With just three days left for Jumboo Savari, the demand will only increase.
‘Pressure from VVIPs’
Reacting on the issue, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha said that the Gold Cards and tickets for people to sit inside the Palace premises are printed according to the number of seats.
“The Palace can accommodate 26,000 people and while keeping Gold Cards and tickets for sale, the Administration has to consider the demands of all the 224 MLAs, 70 MLCs, recommendations from CM’s Office, three Dy.CM’s offices, Central and State Minister’s offices, top Secretaries of all Departments, foreign delegates and the offices of Ambassadors,” he said.
“Catering to the demands of VVIPs, 50 percent of the Gold Cards are reserved and the rest are sold both offline and online. Also, this year, seating arrangements have been made for people to see the procession all along the route till Bannimantap. There is no hard and fast rule that Jumboo Savari must be viewed inside the Palace. People can even watch outside the Palace,” he said.
Helpless Minister, Busy DC
Mysuru: Mysuru District Minister V. Somanna admitted that the annual Gold Card and tickets distribution is an unmanageable task. “We are helpless and we have to cater to the demands of the VVIPs. There is a lot of pressure from them and we cannot solve the deadlock,” he said.
“Gold Cards and tickets will be sold to public only after fulfilling the demands of guests and VVIPs. Public have to adjust,” he said. The Minister, however, deflected the question on how many Gold Cards and tickets are printed and how many of them have been given to VVIPs. When SOM tried contacting Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar to know his reaction on the issue, he messaged that he was busy as there were four VVIPs in city.