Kolkata cops to issue puja guidelines next week – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: The city police force, which will be holding its meeting with the puja organizers by next week, is likely to lay out the exact dos and don’ts for the committees for this year. Sources in Lalbazar said there will be certain parameters which will be non-negotiable — including wearing of masks and use of sanitizer, no major inauguration and immersion functions, no movement of judges from pandal to pandal after 3pm and avoiding cultural functions close to the pandals.
“All these conditions will have to be strictly followed by the organizers,” said an officer. The cops said that the chief minister’s advisory will be binding for all. “We will only give practical shape to her directives,” the officer added.

However, there are a couple of things that need further consultation, hinted senior cops. “While everyone has agreed on the need to keep as much open space as possible, there are still some issues regarding how to go about it. It is the structure and form of the pandals where we want to ensure that the government’s directives are strictly followed. That would mean keeping at least three sides open. But we have received several representations from organizers in this regard. We will listen to the submissions and hope to incorporate some of their suggestions in our guidelines,” said an officer.
Lalbazar held multiple meetings on Friday in order to draw up specific guidelines for each puja committee based on the advisory by CM Mamata Banerjee. The other guidelines for cops on dos and don’ts before the pujas are also expected to reach each police division in the next 24 hours. This will include essential jobs, like inspection of pandals and setting up of road barricades. Additionally, each police station and guard has been asked to demarcate possible entry and exit routes for major pandals where physical distancing will be possible. Police deployment from Tritiya is likely to be finalized too.
Also on the cards are major changes in circulation of pandal hoppers. “This year, Md Ali Park, College Square and Santosh Mitra Square are likely to see a new crowd circulation plan. We are likely to prepare two plans for now — one taking local train passengers into account and the other for a scenario without train movement. Instead of the usual Sealdah-College Street-CR Avenue flow, we might reverse this movement if local trains do not begin operations. That is because we have some bigger pujas coming up in the Jorasanko and Girish park areas and pressure on CR Avenue right now is higher than on APC Road,” said an officer.
“Even if the celebrations are muted, it is important that we keep tabs on the plans. Also, a realistic crowd estimate is the need of the hour,” said another officer.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/city-cops-to-issue-puja-guidelines-next-week/articleshow/78322923.cms