Durga Puja pandals in West Bengal to be no-entry zones for visitors: Calcutta high court – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Calcutta high court, on Monday, ordered that all Durga Puja pandals in West Bengal are to be treated as Containment Zones and nobody should be allowed inside. No-entry signs will have to be put up outside the pandals and movement of visitors restricted to a certain distance. While larger Puja committees will maintain a distance of 10 metres, smaller ones will restrict viewing of idols and interiors from 5 metres for all pandal hoppers.
Only 25 committee members (organisers) will be allowed inside the pandal at any time. Their names will have to be displayed on a list outside and there can’t be any replacement. The bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee also directed the commissioner of Kolkata Police and the director general of West Bengal police to monitor the situation carefully and report back to the court within four days after Laxmi Puja.
The West Bengal government is also concerned about mass gatherings at pandals during the Pujas that may result in a steep rise in Covid-19 cases after the festival. During the day, chief minister Mamata Banerjee communicated with state and district authorities, including DMs and health officials through video conferencing to discuss the issue. Chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, state DGP Virendra and Kolkata Police commissioner Anuj Sharma were also present.
The high court appreciated the efforts of the state government that has issued several guidelines to restrict large gatherings during the Pujas. However, implementation of these guidelines may not be possible as there aren’t sufficient policemen. In Kolkata alone, crowds on streets can swell to 5-6 lakh for pandal hopping. The court observed that people should enjoy the Pujas virtually this year due to the pandemic.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/durga-puja-pandals-in-west-bengal-to-be-no-entry-zones-for-visitors-calcutta-high-court/articleshow/78750234.cms