Dasara Food Mela focuses on cleanliness, restaurant-like ambience for foodies

The Department of Food and Civil Supplies, which is hosting Dasara Aahara Mela at two different venues in city, has focussed on maintaining cleanliness, giving thrust to health, hygiene and other safety issues to attract more number of visitors.

As many as 98 stalls have been set up at Scouts and Guides Grounds near DC’s Office and the event will be held here till Oct.18 and 75 stalls have been set up at Lalitha Mahal Grounds and the event will be held here till Oct.19. The Food Mela provides an opportunity to relish lip-smacking vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, snacks and desserts.

Three exit points have been opened for visitors as part of crowd management measures. Visitors can exit through north, south and western side of the Scouts and Guides Grounds after entering the venue from the eastern side. One side of the ground towards the University of Mysore has been exclusively set aside for parking.

To ensure adequate potable drinking water to foodies, the Vani Vilas Water Works has deployed four to five mini trucks at different points of the Mela. A good number of Pourakarmikas have been deputed to collect food waste and separate trucks have been assigned for disposal of garbage and collect leftover food at regular intervals.

A fire tender vehicle has been kept ready to avert fire tragedies. The Police Department has also deployed enough security personnel to prevent theft and pick-pocketing. As rains dissuaded many visitors to Aahara Mela last year, this year, trenches have been dug for rainwater to flow easily.

To prevent dust raised by moving crowds, a green touch has been given this year by covering the entire venue with green mats. This enables easy cleaning too.

German Tent: German Style Pagoda Tents have been put up inside the venues to help visitors sit and eat along with friends and family. Over 200 people can sit and eat at a time inside these pagodas. It provides attractive shelter that is waterproof, fire and UV rays resistant too. Detachable side walls with French windows and zippered entrance doors create a good ambience.

German tents have been set up for foodies to chat and eat.

Entertainment: A raised platform with good seating arrangements has been set up to conduct cultural events at the Food Mela. The Department has roped in more than 55 cultural troupes to perform.

Stand-up comedian Gangavati Pranesh will entertain visitors on Oct. 16 at 6.30 pm.      

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Assistant Director of Food and Civil Supplies Yogananda said the Department had taken lot of precautionary measures this year as the Food Fest had been criticised by public last year over poor maintenance, lack of cleanliness and sanitation.

Good response for Intl. Food Fest 

The International Food Festival organised for the first time at the Dasara Aahara Mela has received good response. On the first day, students of Yemen had prepared snacks, kebabs and a few traditional dishes such as Mandi, Madghoot, Fasulia, Akda and Basbousa.

While Madghoot is an Arabic rice dish with lamb, Fasulia is a Middle Eastern lamb and bean stew, and Mandi is meat cooked in tandoor or taboon in Arabic which is a special kind of oven. Tandoor is usually a hole dug in ground and covered inside by clay. Basbousa is an Egyptian semolina cake drenched in syrup.

Students had prepared for about 100 visitors and all their food items were sold out in no time. And people were asking for more. Students from China, Gulf, Fiji, African countries relished the food prepared by international students apart from local visitors.

The District Administration had given permission to foreign students studying in various colleges coming under University of Mysore and its affiliated colleges to cook and sell dishes at the Mela. The idea behind this was to attract foreigners in large numbers.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Vice-President (Female) of Federation of International Students Association (FISA) Naqseema Ali, a student of Mysore University, said that more than 2,000 students belonging to 60 countries are studying in Mysuru. Of these, 800 are FISA members.

“I sincerely thank the Department for encouraging foreign food. We were given the stall free of cost and students from over fifteen countries are taking part in the Aahara Mela. Students of Iran had prepared the food items like Saladaolovie, Felafie Irani, Toop and Halavaye Sonati,” she said.

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