A Durga Puja organisers’ forum in Kolkata has recommended certain safety measures to be taken during the festivities. The Forum for Dugotsab, an association of 350 Durga Puja committees in the city, said it will submit its list of recommendations to the office of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, an office-bearer of the body said on Sunday.
The forum has recommended measures like thermal screening of visitors, making the wearing of masks mandatory for everyone, allowing only 25 people inside a marquee at a time and regular sanitisation of the structures, he said.
It has also called for keeping the marquees open from the front so that visitors can see the idols without having to enter the structures, the forum’s office-bearer said.
“After Mamata Banerjee said in state secretariat Nabanna that everyone should be careful about their health so that they can celebrate Durga Puja in a grand way, we are hopeful of celebrating the festival this year with all safety measures in place.
“We have distributed a list of guidelines among members of the forum. We will submit the same to the Chief Minister’s Office,” he told .
Durga Puja organisers across Kolkata are hopeful they will be able to celebrate the festival this year, albeit in a scaled-down manner and by taking safety measures.
“We will celebrate Durga Puja by following the guidelines as the livelihood of thousands are attached to it. But maybe, we will not be able to celebrate the festival the way we had initially planned,” Somen Dutta of Kasi Bose Puja Committee in north Kolkata said.
Partha Ghosh of Shiv Mandir Puja Committee in south Kolkata said the festival will be a low-key affair for them this year and safety measures will be taken.
“The celebration will be scaled down this year while retaining our artistic hallmark. We will have a grand theme- based celebration next year,” he said.
Debashis Kumar, former mayor-in-council of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and one of the key persons of the Tridhara Sammilani Puja Committee in Ballygunge, said they are waiting for safety guidelines from the administration.
“We haven’t started our preparations yet for this year’s Durga Puja. We haven’t even booked any idol. Unlike some Durga Puja organisers, we don’t believe in using thermal devices to screen revellers. Unless we get clear guidelines from the administration on how to go about with the celebrations, we will not take any decision,” he said.
Subhendu Ghosh of Kasba Talbagan Puja Committee said they will scale down the celebrations. “Our decorator has tested positive for COVID-19. We will decide accordingly,” he said.
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