Two public interest litigation has been filed in the Calcutta High Court urging to make all Kali Puja, Jagaddhatri Puja and Kartik Puja pandals no-entry zones and seeking a complete ban on fireworks during Kali puja and Diwali in order to prevent an air pollution spike, a regular occurrence after the twin festivals, which could prove disastrous for COVID patients. The case is likely to be heard by a division bench of the chief justice on Thursday (November 5).

This year, Durga puja was not celebrated in a grand style. Several guidelines were issued by the government during the festive season which people had to follow in order to remain safe from the COVID-19 infection. The Calcutta High Court has directed to keep all puja pandals in the state without spectators to prevent the infection.

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One of the litigations was filed by Howrah resident Ajoy Kumar Dey, after whose PIL the HC had declared all Durga Puja pandals as no-entry zones. Dey’s petition, filed through his counsel Bikash Bhattacharya and advocate-on-record Sabyasachi Chatterjee, also seeks a court directive declaring all lakes, ponds and other waterbodies as containment zones for three days during Chhath Puja.

This petition apart, South 24 Parganas resident Anusuya Bhattacharya, too, filed a PIL seeking a complete ban on fireworks during Kali puja.

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Chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said on Tuesday (November 3) after a meeting chaired by chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna, “We must ensure that our happiness does not cause pain to others. This year, Kali puja must be celebrated in a restrained manner.”