BHOPAL: The leading Durga Utsav Samitis in the city have almost completed preparations for the nine-day Navratri festival, which will begin from Thursday.
They say that district administration’s guidelines have come too late and they are not in position to change the specification of the Durga idols at this stage. They, however, will try to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour by devotees visiting their pandals.
The district administration issued guidelines regarding Navratri celebrations on Monday specifying the maximum size of an idol (5ft) and a pandal (30X45) while banning bhandara and garbas to check corona spread.
Coordinator of Jai Maa Vaishno Devi Durga Utsav Samiti, Bittan Market, Hariom Khatik said that will install an 8-feet high idol of Goddess. “If administration announces a cap on height at eleventh hour, we can do little. We cannot shorten the idol now,” he added.
Pandal entrance |
A replica of famous Khatu Shyam Temple in Sikar district of Rajasthan will be on display in the 26 X 45 feet pandal of Samiti. “We have brought a black marble idol of Khatu Shyam weighing 50 kilograms from Rajasthan,” Khatik says. “We hope that Lord Krishna would inject positivity in the atmosphere, which is laden with depression and anxiety,” he adds. Khatik says Samiti’s total budget is Rs 18 lakh.
New Market Vyapari Durga Utsav Samiti president Mahesh Kukreja says their 30 X 25 feet pandal will include a 7-feet high image of Goddess Durga besides a tableau showing Lav and Kush riding Ashwamedha Yagna horse. “We used to celebrate festival with great fanfare, spending up to Rs 25 lakh. But this year, our budget is Rs 5 lakh,” he said. Kukreja also complained that the guidelines have come too late to follow.
Vijay Market Durga Utsav Samiti, Barkhera, president Rambabu Sharma said they have decided to cancel celebrations this year. “Ours is one of the oldest and the most prestigious Samitis in the city and our pandal attracts large number of devotees. It will be impossible for us to enforce Covid-protection norms. So, like last year, this year, too, we will not hold celebrations,” Sharma says.
Bengali Association, Kali Badi, TT Nagar, secretary Salil Chatterjee said they will install a 5-feet-high idol. “For us Bengalis, Durga Utsav is the biggest festival of the year and we cannot skip it,” he says. However, they will not be hold community feast and Sindoor Khela. Also, no cultural activities will be organised, he says.
We have has no problems with the guidelines. Most idols we made this year are 6-feet high. Anyway, all the buyers have already carted away the images.
- Anup Dey, idol maker
In view of corona guidelines, we will organise only symbolic Garba on music. We will consecrate idol and perform aarti. Only core members will attend the event.
-Hemant Vora, secretary, Shri Gujarati Samaj, Bhopal
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