Durga Puja forum against overcrowding before pandals in evening hours

By PTI

KOLKATA: Three days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked Durga puja organisers to make preparations for small-scale celebrations this year, ‘Forum for Durgotsab’ — a platform for community puja organisers — said it would abide by all health protocols and ensure that people don’t crowd at marquees.

Much like last year, members of the forum have decided to set up open-air marquees, giving people an opportunity to see the idols of deities from a distance, Somnath Das, an office-bearer of the platform, said.

“Our preparations are going on in full swing. People in this city would have felt disheartened had there been no celebration. All puja committee members have decided to shun pomp and show. They will, however, make an aesthetic presentation, in line with our culture and tradition,” he said.

Soumen Dutta of Kasi Bose Lane committee, a big-ticket puja in the city, said the CM’s assurance has come across as a major relief as the organisers were in two minds about going ahead with the preparations.

Das, who is also the general secretary of Santoshpur Lake Pally, said organisers have adopted ‘paribar’ (family) theme to give locals a homely feeling.

He thanked the Mamata Banerjee government for the Rs 50,000 dole for puja committees, which he said would be spent on buying masks and sanitisers for the poor in the locality.