City Durga puja organisers ready with measures conforming to HC orders

Durga Puja organisers in the city on Saturday said they are ready with measures conforming to the Calcutta High Court order for the five-day mega festival beginning on October 10 in view of the pandemic unlike last year when the COVID-19 restrictions were issued in the last minute making many of the marquees inaccessible to the general people.


PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 02-10-2021 18:16 IST | Created: 02-10-2021 18:16 IST
City Durga puja organisers ready with measures conforming to HC orders
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Durga Puja organisers in the city on Saturday said they are ready with measures conforming to the Calcutta High Court order for the five-day mega festival beginning on October 10 in view of the pandemic unlike last year when the COVID-19 restrictions were issued in the last minute making many of the marquees inaccessible to the general people. Many of them have planned and started building their marquees in such a way that the deity can be seen from a fenced area outside it, while others are ready to strictly ply with the HC order and not allow any pandal hopper inside.

The Calcutta HC had ordered on Friday that puja pandals will be treated as containment zones and not allow visitors inside them. The same restrictions will apply during Kali Puja too which is held about 20 days later. Soumen Dutta, general secretary of Kashi Bose Lane puja committee, told PTI that the diety in its main marquee can be seen by visitors from a fenced area 10 m away and move on to an adjacent lane to leave. The Durga puja arranged by the committee is famous of its installation art and is a must see on the list of most pandal hoppers. ''As the pandemic is still on we have to give priority to public safety. Hence we had prepared our plan accordingly months back anticipating such an order by the hon'ble high court and administration,'' he said.

As per the directive of the court, the puja committee has prepared a list of fully vaccinated members, 25 of whom would be able to go inside the pandal at a time for work related to the rituals and others. After completing their work which will take a couple of hours, these members will go on self quarantine for the next 24 hours at a safe home built by the puja committee during the second wave in April-June.

This is being done to avert any threat of infection to the members' families and neighbours as the threat of the third wave is looming, Dutta said.

The organisers of yet another famed puja at Mohammad Ali Park said its marquee, which takes about a month to be put up, has already been put up on the side of arterial Central Avenue anticipating the court order, Mohammad Ali Park Durga Puja Committee general secretary Surendra Kumar Sharma said the goddess there can be seen very well from a distance of 15 feet.

''Nothing is more important than public health and with coronavirus still on we need to be alert. Mohammad Ali Park can wait for grander celebrations in the coming years,'' he said.

The marquee will be accessible only to the idol marker, the priest, electricians and the decorators but to none of the committee members, who will sit at the nearby puja committee office, he added.

Pradyumma Mukherjee of 66 Pally said the Durga puja organised by it will not face any problem with regard to the construction of the pandal as it had already been planned in a way that people will catch a glimpse of the deity while passing along the street near it. Spokesman of 75 Pally Bhawanipur, Subir Das said unlike last year when the idol was kept 80 m away from the main entrance of the pandal in 2020, it is being kept 30 m from the entrance this time so as to be fully visible from outside. The HC had also ordered that last year's restriction disallowing visitors inside the pandals will continue. Only 15 to 25 persons belonging to the organising committee would be allowed to do so.

The court order last year said that for small pandals barricades will have to be put up five metres from the entrance, while for the bigger ones the distance has to be 10 metres. No-entry boards will be required to be put up at the barricades.

It had also said that the organisers will have to distribute masks and sanitisers to the visitors, hold awareness campaigns and make continuous announcements so that the people do not forget the impending threat of the disease.

The West Bengal government had on September 30 lifted the night restrictions during the Durga Puja festival but extended COVID curbs till October 30.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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