Mysuru: Seating capacity at the famed Torchlight Parade Grounds at Bannimantap has just got bigger. The Grounds that hosts the Dasara Torchlight Parade and other events like Independence Day and Republic Day parades can now accommodate 33,500 people instead of the earlier 22,000 – an increase of 11,500 seats.
Considering the need to accommodate more people during the events the city is known for, like the Torchlight Parade and to give private event organisers a suitable place to host mega events, the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) decided to increase the seating capacity and take up various development works including permanent barricading and painting, permanent roofing and painting of the gallery and walls.
The works on the seating capacity increase have been implemented by Skill Tech Engineers and Contractors that has the expertise and the technical knowhow. Works have been carried out at a cost of Rs. 6.5 crore. Work on the project began in the end of 2016 and now, all the civil works have been completed with only painting to be done.
Eleven new rows have been built in an elevated platform and stone benches have been laid. 86 concrete pillars are supporting the concrete structures and 173 vertical and horizontal beams have been erected to support the structure. The seating capacity has been increased without expanding the width of the gallery. The seating arrangements have been made by the side of Bannimantap towards St. Philomena’s College.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, MUDA Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu said that as of now, box drainage and painting works are on and the Grounds will be ready by the end of July. Usually, during mega events, the Police set up temporary barricades to prevent the crowd from entering the ground. “Now this problem is solved as we have erected permanent barricades up to 350 metres. We have also undertaken underground power cable laying works up to 700 metres,” he said.
Suresh Babu added that the tiled roof of the spectator gallery will be replaced with concrete ones to avoid the menace of tile thieves. With cement tiles, thieves cannot steal them, he added. This apart, signboards will be placed indicating entry and exit gates, gate numbers, spectator galleries and parking directions.
Once the works are complete, the Parade Grounds will be rented out to private parties. To mop up additional revenues, the MUDA has decided to rent out the Grounds for private events and this proposal has already been approved by the MUDA Board, Suresh Babu said.
People can book the grounds in advance and the only condition is that non-vegetarian food should not be served if an event is organised there. The property, which once belonged to the Mysore royal family, was acquired by the Karnataka government and was used only for public events.
Henceforth, private events too can be conducted here and certain conditions will be laid. Important among them is that whoever takes the Grounds on rent must not damage the ‘Shami Trees’ on the premises. The tree, also known as Banni, is highly revered and worshipped among Hindus. The tree forms an important part of a ritual during Dasara, officials said.
MUDA is likely to charge a daily rent of Rs. 1 lakh for private functions and the organisers need to pay a security deposit of Rs. 50,000. However, the rates are likely to be revised once all the construction works are completed.
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