Mysore, Aug 17 (UNI) District incharge minister Shobha Karandaje said the BJP government in Karnataka would ensure that this year's famous Mysore Dasara festivities is celebrated at utmost pomp and grandeur.
She said the government would ensure smooth conduct of festivities and it had increased the special allowance paid to the mahots of the dozen elephants brought from Nagarhole forests for Dasara. The elephant handers had threatened to boycott Dasara demanding higher allowance.
"We have increased their special allowance to Rs 3000 from Rs 1000 during the nine-day festivities. This will be besides their salary," she said.
When asked why mahots in Shimoga were paid more than those from Nagarhole, the minister said the government would discriminate between mahots in different places.
Meanwhile the district administration said it had decided to appoint 37 permanent mahots (kavadis) in the forest department following a proposal by the department to fill the 37 vacant posts, particularly in Nagarahole forest region.
There were a number of elephant training camps in the state including Bandipur and Nagarahole which house more then 200 pachyderms.
These animals were used by the forest department for its works and were lent for services to the tourism department. Some of these elephants participate in famous Mysore Dasara festivities annually and apart form these they are used to train the wild elephants when they were caught.
Meanwhile, stage is set for 'Gajapayana', the travel of the elephants which are scheduled take part in the Festivities, from Nagarahole forest area tomorrow.
UNI BSP RS TS1851