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Durga Puja bodies adopt wait and watch policy as third wave looms

durga puja

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met with representatives of clubs and Durga Puja committees, on Tuesday, and promised Rs 50,000 as donation to them for orgainsing Puja.

Mamata Banerjee said that the pandemic norms will be maintained just as last year. The decision on the Puja Carnival (the immersion procession) would be decided after the Bhabanipur bypoll on September 30 and also after taking stock of the COVID situation then.

“No new restrictions are being added. A decision on whether visitors would be allowed at pandals at night hours has also been postponed for later, keeping the probability of the third wave in mind,” said Mamata.

Talking about the meeting on Tuesday, cultural secretary of Forum for Durgotsav Amitabha Roy said, “We have been trying to vaccinate all the artisans. Many are from interior areas of the state, where the vaccination process is slow. We will also hold a camp for these artisans to inoculate as many people we can. Also, the individual committees will also take measures on their own to get the artisans jabbed. We will also be holding our blood donation camp at Netaji Indoor stadium on September 19.

Taking a cue from Odisha’s Rath Yatra and Maharashtra’s Ganesh Utsav to give grandeur a miss, Forum for Durgotsav committee met in July and decided that vaccination would be a must for the artisans involved in making pandals, decoration and lighting, apart from double vaccination for committee members.

The Forum also decided that the pandals would be open from three sides like last year for proper ventilation.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party members, including state vice-president Pratap Banerjee, MP Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato, MP Sukanta Majumdar, and Shishir Bajoria visited state election commission and submitted a letter urging to Election Commission of India to take action against Bhawanipur candidate Mamata Banerjee for violating model code as she announced cash rewards to 36,000 clubs, including 2,500 under Kolkata Municipal Corporation for Durga Puja celebration, despite declaration of bypoll date.