Representative Pic
Representative Pic

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

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

Coordinator of Vyapari Durga Utsav Samiti, New Market, Ajay Agrawal said traders are not happy with the decision. "It will be impossible to organise event in 100 square feet area when we used to hold it in a 20,000 square feet pandal till last year,” he said. “We have been organising 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 added.

“On the one hand, the government is asking us to organise puja in 10x10 square feet pandal but on other hand, politicians are holding meetings with hundreds in attendance. What is this, he asked, adding that government should rethink.

Similarly, president of Navyuvak Durga Utsav Samiti, 10 No Market, Rahul Malaviya said all the guidelines are fine but it is not possible to hold puja in such a small pandal. “How can we perform puja when even two persons can’t stand in a pandal of that size” he remarked. He said they had a meeting with SDM in this connection.

Coordinator of Jai Maa Vaishno Durga Utsav Samiti, Bittan Market Vyapari Sangh, Hariom Khatik said they had planned to install a 51-foot replica of the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhaya but dropped the idea because of corona guidelines. They had started preparations and had even called artistes from Kolkata.

“We have already reduced the size of the temple. Earlier, its size was 121 square feet,” Khatik says, adding that this time they would focus more on worship than pandal and tableau.

President of Vijay Market Durga Utsav Samit Rambabu Sharma said 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 install a 6-foot idol and perform puja,” he said.x

‘Don’t fix idol height, pandal size’

President of Sanskriti Bachao Manch, Bhopal, Chandrasekhar Tiwari said they have appealed to the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and home minister Narottam Mishra not to fix the height of idol and the size of 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 Ganesh Utsav,” he says.

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Free Press Journal