The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday (October 21) offered Durga Puja organisers some leeway by partially relaxing its earlier order on the number of committee members who will have access to the pandal. 

Hearing a review petition filed by Forum for Durgotsav, the High Court, however, gave some relief by allowing dhakis (traditional drummers) to perform within the no-entry zones of the pandals. 5 metres around smaller pandals, and 10 meters for bigger ones.

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The Division Bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee also allowed entry of more Puja organisers from 25 to 60 for big Puja committees. For small Puja committees, the number of organisers allowed to enter the marquees or the pandals at a time will, however, remain the same (15).

The court also directed that list of persons who are allowed in the pandal should be fixed on a day-to-day basis and the list has to be hung every day at 8 am.

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The matter has been disposed of by the court and there will be no further hearings.

Meanwhile, reacting to the High Court making minor changes in its previous order, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, who heads the Naktala Udayan Sangha Durga Puja, said, “We have to accept the court’s order and abide by it. But it should have come much earlier as a lot of investments have been made to decorate pandals.”