Neighbourhood water bodies in Kolkata take load in Covid times – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Over a dozen ponds located across the city played a pivotal role in immersions this year. Around 1100 idols from community pujas were immersed in these ponds across areas like Behala, Tollygunge and Jadavpur. Besides, a few waterbodies located off EM Bypass were also used for immersions.
These ‘ghats’ were decked up and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation arranged for the necessary infrastructural support for the puja organizers (both community and family pujas) that included supply of porters and cleaning these ghats. Kolkata police and trained personnel from state’s disaster management group lent support to the KMC in ensuring a hassle-free immersion at these ghats.
The civic authorities and Kolkata police persuaded organizers of a large number of community pujas this year to choose local ponds for immersions instead of taking the idols to Babughat amid Covid restrictions.
Some of the major ponds where over 150 idols were immersed till Sunday include Patuli pond, Panchasayar pond, Mukundapur pond, Ranikuthi pond, Layelka pond, Sarsuna jheel, Panrnasree jheel among others.
At the Sarsuna College Jheel, 21 personnel were on duty with a DMG team in tow. At Mukundapur pond, there were 17 personnel and a DMG team stationed from 3 pm till well past midnight to carry out the immersions.
Cops said that adequate CCTV cameras were installed at major ponds in Kolkata where immersions were carried out. Around 1,000 police personnel manned the roads leading up to the water bodies in the added areas of Kolkata to ensure smooth immersion.
“Considering the Covid situation, all the organisers have been asked to come to the ponds directly from the pandals. The directives will be the same as ghats and there will be no leeway provided to local organizers. There will be no procession or display of idols during or before the immersion.
The organisers have been asked to adhere to the Covid restrictions. Only three persons will be allowed to enter the pond,” a senior police officer said. Violations though have been already reported from city suburbs as both banned firecrackers and DJ system – along with elaborate processions were noticed in these parts on Friday night.
Over 400 idols from all over New Town, Rajarhat and Salt Lake were immersed at the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) run immersion ghat located in action area I in New Town.
Puja organizers could avail four immersion bays simultaneously for their idols. This apart, a special arena was also created for performing dhunuchi dance under strict police vigil.
“Like previous years, the immersion process was systematically organised at the Bisarjan ghat arranged by NKDA, police and health department, following all Covid safety protocols.
Four immersion bays were demarcated and only the NKDA workers were entrusted to carry out the idol immersions at the waterbody,” said NKDA chairman Debashis Sen. Over 100 police personnel were deployed to keep a watch on the immersion in accordance with Covid protocols.