CM Mamata Banerjee Signals Durga Puja With 2020 Covid-Safety Measures
This year, the chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that Durga Puja is allowed to be organised with all protocols for Covid, which had been put in place for the Festival last year.
But later, at a meeting with Puja coordinators, the government will call for two major activities: panic shopping for the night and the carnival at end-of-Puja Red Road.
Banerjee was unable, because of the model code of conduct for Assembly by-polls in place, including Bhowanipore, where she is a contender, to announce funding and other incentives to puja committees, which has become a practice in recent years. The 36,000-odd Puja commissions were allocated Rs 50,000, as they had been last year, Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi said. Additional discounts will exist, including a 50% exemption from utility bills, including exemption from taxes and fees from fire departments and city services. 'We're celebrating Puja as last year' says Banerjee,' he added, 'I've had a talk with the Chief Secretary at the Durga Puja coordinating meeting in Netaji Indoor Stadium. This year will retain the arrangements made last year. You should enjoy the festivities, but with proper infection precautions."
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The state administration took many Covid-control measures in and around Puja pandals last year. Pandals were supposed to be open on three sides and sanitised regularly; organisers were told to distribute sanitiser to guests, make masks essential within pandals, and regulate admission.
Another member of the COVID expert panel, Dr Ashutosh Ghosh, concurred with him, adding that following health protocols is the best way to go forward.
Safe distance must be maintained and everyone must wear a mask. Crowds are already forming in marketplaces. They'll show up during the pujas as well. Mr Ghosh continued, "Health protocols must not be disregarded; else, the problem could quickly worsen."
We must remain vigilant at all times. The government has taken every measure imaginable. "Unfortunately, if people do not follow the protocols, then we can see the rise in cases" Mr Satpathi warned.
The Covid crisis, on the other hand, has transformed everything. The festival takes place from October 11 to 14, with immersion taking place from October 15 to 17. On October 18, the carnival will take place. After the byelection, we'll make a decision.”
There are numerous aspects to consider. There will be a large number of people who will be exposed. Consider the police officers, civic police officers, and volunteers who will be on the road they will be more susceptible to the sickness "PTI's Dr Konar tol
He also stated that transportation movement should be regulated to prevent pandal hopping.
"We will persuade the authorities to allow virtual pandal hopping, as this will encourage people to stay at home. People should be encouraged to go virtual pandal hopping rather than visiting a physical pandal "He added.
She stated that vigilance was required not only against Covid but also against "mischief-mongers" who seek to disrupt communal harmony and peace. The CM also requested that UNESCO recognise the festival as an intangible cultural heritage. “It is a one-of-a-kind event in which people of all backgrounds of life, irrespective of religion, caste, creed, or belief, come together to celebrate. It serves as a reminder that, while religion is personal, a festival is open to everybody. The economics surrounding Durga Puja astonished me. According to a study conducted by the British Council, IIT-Kharagpur, and the Queen Mary University of London, the economic activity is worth Rs 36,377 crore.