Hassan (Karnataka), June 25, 2017: The Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsava Committee, entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the anointment of Gomateshwara, has decided to involve residents of Shravanabelagola and neighbouring villages to provide shelter to those visiting the place during the mega event scheduled for February 2018.

The Hassan district administration is conducting a survey to assess the number of house owners in and around Shravanabelagola interested in participating in the Athithi Devo Bhava programme.

365 houses
A. Manju, Minister for Sericulture and Animal Husbandry and president of the committee, was the first to propose this initiative. So far, the Shravanabelagola Gram Panchayat has identified 365 houses fit to provide accommodation to visitors.

The event held once in 12 years is expected to attract thousands of people from different parts of the world. “In the past, the administration provided shelter in the form of temporary townships, where tents were made available to visitors. This time too we have planned the same. Besides this, we are thinking of involving locals to provide accommodation for visitors so that the number of temporary sheds can be reduced,” said H.L. Nagaraj, Assistant Commissioner (Hassan).

Reducing costs
In this manner, the administration is also planning to reduce the expenditure on temporary shelters. It held a meeting in Channarayapatna recently on the programme.

The officers have resolved to provide funds for construction of additional washrooms wherever necessary. The administration would take bookings of rooms online and allot houses to guests depending on the demand.

Food arrangements
“Jain Mutt will be providing food for all. The hosts need not worry about food. We will finalise the plan of accommodation once the survey is over,” he said. This facility will be for a period of 30-45 days during the event. However, those staying for a longer time can stay in temporary sheds, the officer added.

The government, earlier, had estimated a total expenditure of Rs. 6 crore for providing accommodation. However, the initiative to involve the local people is expected to reduce the expenses. Deputy Commissioner V.Chaitra, in a meeting held recently, called upon the public willing to join hands with government in treating the guests to decorate their houses during the event and take good care of the visitors.

“The public should not view it as an opportunity to make money, but have their role in making the event a success”, she said. – News Courtesy: The Hindu