The Kolkata Police have asked the Durga Puja organisers to follow all COVID- 19 regulations. “We are working on all the guidelines given by the government. We offered all cooperation to the CP today,” said Somen Dutta, an office-bearer of the Forum for Durgotsab and the general secretary of Kashi Bose Lane Puja Committee, which organises one of the most popular pujas in the city.
The state government had earlier issued a notification asking Durga Puja committees to follow COVID-19 safety protocols and set up open pandals where visitors cannot enter without masks. The notification came up days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee listed the safety guidelines for the puja committees.
Around 2,509 community Durga Pujas are organised under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Police, Banerjee had said.
Here are the COVID-19 regulations for Durga Puja
- All revellers should mandatorily wear masks while entering the marquees during the five-day festival which will begin on October 23
- Puja committees should ensure that revellers adhere to the physical distancing norms inside pandals and are given masks by puja committees if they do not have them
- Organisers should mark spaces for revellers nearthe pandals in keeping with the physical distancing norms and make separate entry and exit points in them
- Pandal should be kept free on all three sides and everyone should wear masks
- Authorities should keep a stock of masks to distribute among the pandal hoppers if they are not found wearing them
- People can visit puja pandals a whole week more this time to avoid overcrowding anywhere. They can start visiting the pandals four days before the puja begins till October 29, three days after the Vijaya Dashami day
- The immersion processions, which traditionally see large gatherings every year, should not take circuitous routes to the Ganga or the nearest water body from the pandal and instead have the minimum number of people accompanying them for the purpose
- Cultural programmes which draw huge crowds cannot be held in or near the puja pandals
Ahead of the festival season, a survey on Friday had revealed that about 36 per cent of the Indians might be getting ready to socialise, sparking a fear of large-scale Covid-19 spread. The most exciting time of the year for the Indians is just around the corner. October-November, popularly known as the festive months mark the starting of festivals like Navratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra and finally Diwali.