West Bengal: No mask, no entry in pandals during Durga Puja, says Forum for Durgotsav

Kolkata: Taking hint from Odisha’s Rath Yatra and Maharashtra’s Ganesh Utsav to give grandeur a miss even this year, Forum for Durgotsav committee held a meeting to discuss ways to hold Durga Puja this year and will also send a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her approval.

According to Saswata Basu, head of the forum, it was decided that double doses of vaccination is compulsory for people who will be involved in making the pandals, decorations, lighting and even for all the committee members.

“We will not stop puja but the elaborations will be less. Like last year the pandals will be open from all the sides. No masks, no entry policy will be implemented at the pandals and at least a single dose of vaccination will be necessary for the visitors. We will also impose few restrictions on performing the rituals and distribution of prasad”, said Saswata.

The head of the Forum of Durgotsav Committee also mentioned that through a letter they would soon seek an appointment of the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who will take the ultimate call.

It can be recalled that even last year several restrictions were followed during the first wave of the pandemic and the Chief Minister also called-off the Durga carnival which marks the immersion of the idols.

Virologist Suman Poddar said that if restrictions are not followed then there is a possibility that soon after Durga Puja, the third wave will hit West Bengal.

“The police, before 10-15 days of commencement of Durga Puja should keep strict vigil on people as mingling much and breaking of protocols can lead to early entry of the third wave of the pandemic”, stated the virologist.

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