Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government on Thursday (September 24) announced to give Rs 50,000 for 28,000 Durga Puja committees in West Bengal. The amount has been doubled from the last year’s Rs 25,000.
Making this announcement, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee advised people to take precautions while visiting Durga puja pandals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She directed that pandals need to be open from all four sides, adding “Hand sanitizers should be placed at entry points of pandals, and the wearing of masks to be mandatory. Physical distancing needs to be maintained.”
The West Bengal CM said, “I am requesting all to keep Durga puja pandal open and spacious. If sides are covered, then keep the roof open. If the roof is closed, then keep sides open. Also, maintain physical distancing.”
“People visiting the pandal must wear the mask. Keep more volunteers to ensure COVID protocols are being maintained,” Mamata said, adding that cultural programme won’t be allowed at pandals.
Mamata Banerjee said, “Ask volunteers to wear face shields. For Anjali and Sindoor Khela, keep slots. Announce the mantras on the mic so that people can hear it from faraway places. For Sindoor Khela, play it batch-wise.”
“People are doing politics regarding this. If I don’t allow puja, they will say look they didn’t allow puja to be celebrated,” she said, adding “We will virtually show Durga puja and also announces prize on the virtual platform.
The CM said that public announcement systems must be put in place at every pandal. Regarding immersion of idols, she said, “give slots to puja pandals to avoid gathering. Single window permission for Durga puja will begin on October 2.”
She directed that the Fire brigade will not take any fees, no KMC fees, while CESC (electricity) will charge only a 50 percent fee for the Durga puja pandals.