Bhopal: Committees appeal CM to amend Durga Puja guidelines, request not to fix idol and pandal size

BHOPAL: Durga Utsav Committees in the city are in a dilemma over the government's guidelines regarding the size of the puja pandals and the idols of Goddess Durga.

The members of the committees say that it is impractical to organise the puja in a 10x10 feet pandal. According to the state government's advisory for ‘Durga Puja’ issued on Friday, the height of the idols should not be more than six feet and the area of puja pandal would not be more than 10 square feet.

Coordinator of Vyapari Durga Utsav Samiti, New Market, Ajay Agrawal says that they are not happy. "It will be impossible to organise the event in a 100 square feet area when we used to hold it in a 20,000 square feet pandal till the last year,” he says. “We have been organising the puja for 55 years and this decision has hurt our feelings. You can't perform Puja even at home in such a small area,” he says. “On one hand, the government is asking us to organise puja in a 10x10 feet pandal but on other hand, politicians are holding meetings with hundreds in attendance. What is this, he asks, adding that the government should rethink on this issue.

Similarly, president of Navyuvak Durga Utsav Samiti, 10 No. Market, Rahul Malaviya said that all the guidelines are okay but it is impossible to hold the puja rituals in a 10 square feet pandal. “How can we perform the puja if even two persons can’t stand in a pandal of that size,” he asks. He says that they had a meeting with the local SDM regarding this.

Coordinator of Jai Maa Vaishno Durga Utsav Samiti, Bittan Market Vyapari Sangh, Hariom Khatik says they had planned to install a 51-foot replica of the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya but dropped the idea because of the corona guidelines. They had started preparations and had even called artists from Kolkata. “We have already reduced the size of the temple. Earlier its size was 121 sq feet,” Khatik says, adding that this time they would focus on worship more rather than pandal and tableau.

President of Vijay Market Durga Utsav Samit Rambabu Sharma says every year they used to install models of Hindu pilgrimage centres from across the world and it was the major attraction for the visitors. But this year, there will be no festive look due to the guidelines. “We will just install a 6-foot idol and will perform puja,” he says

President of Sanskriti Bachao Manch, Bhopal, Chandrasekhar Tiwari says they have appealed to the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and home minister Narottam Mishra not to fix the height of the idol and the size of the pandal. “It will create problems for the artisans who have already made idols of bigger size. The artisans are already in loss due to the ban on public celebrations of the Ganesh Utsav,” he says.

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