No restrictions on night pandal hopping on Durga puja: Mamata Banerjee
Durga Puja is the most happening festival for Bengalis throughout the country which can be sensed with endless events, food, and fun happening across the state. It not only brings the city of Kolkata to halt, but it is the most awaited carnival for all Bengalis across the world. This year, the general public had no clear idea about how Durga puja will be celebrated amidst the COVID pandemic. Putting an end to various speculations, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee highlighted several rules and precautions to be followed during the puja.
Unlike other years, this year people will have to wait for a month after Mahalaya before welcoming Goddess Durga on 'Mahashashthi', which marks the beginning of Durga Puja.
The 35-day gap between 'Mahalaya' and 'Mashashthi' is attributed to a phenomenon called the 'mala mash' or an 'unholy month' when auspicious rituals are avoided, according to scriptures.
Durga puja is just a few days away. Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, people are very excited to celebrate Durga puja this year.
Earlier, the situation was slightly different. Everybody thought that there will be no celebration of Durga puja this year due to the pandemic.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee laid down rules for the Durga puja under the 'new normal' in the state following a meeting on September 24 with Kolkata-based puja committees, police, fire brigade and all other stakeholders.
In a meeting with the puja committees on September 24, Mamata Banerjee said that the streets of Kolkata will not be deserted during puja. People will be allowed to do night pandal hopping.
However, wearing masks while entering the pandals is mandatory and the puja committees have to keep masks and sanitizers handy for pandal hoppers. Sanitizer will be given to pandal visitors at least half a kilometre ahead of entering the pandal.
Preparations are on in full swing in Kumartuli. Although the demand for idols are less this year, the idol makers have made some business before the puja.
According to reports, the West Bengal government will provide Rs 50,000 aid to puja committees. CESC and West Bengal Electricity will waive electricity charges by 50%.
The state government will keep an additional provision for beds for COVID hospitals and directed stakeholders to keep all helplines active during Durga puja days.