Durga puja celebration ends amidst pandemic with idol immersion; know what was different this year

Kolkata: The much-awaited festival of West Bengal – Durga puja ended on Monday as the state celebrated Vijaya Dashami amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Several ghats in the state were buzzing with activity as most durga puja committees immersed the Durga idols marking an end to the week-long festivities. 

According to Kolkata Police, as many as 562 Durga idols were immersed till 2 am this morning at Babu ghat and adjoining ghats. 

In the wake of Coronavirus pandemic, several guidelines were issued for the idol immersion.

What was different this year:

For the first time, people were not allowed at the ghat to prevent overcrowding and gathering. 

Kolkata Municipal Corporation deployed porters and corporation workers to carry the idols inside the ghat and immerse them. Only two persons per family or puja pandal were allowed to enter inside the ghat to complete the rituals. 

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“We have celebrated Durga puja amidst the pandemic and the immersion will also take place amidst the new normal situation. Unlike other years, we are not allowing gathering inside the ghats.

This time, only porters and Corporation workers are carrying the idol inside. This will prevent any crowding or gathering at ghats,” said Firhad Hakim, Chairman, Board of Administrators, Kolkata Municipal Corporation. 

This apart, Corporation’s mist cannon coild be seen taking the rounds of ghats at regular intervals to disinfect the area and spray the sanitiser. Sanitisation staff from Corporation were also deployed at ghats who were seen undertaking the fogging process at intervals. 

On the other hand, Corporation deployed cranes and JCBs to prevent water pollution and take out the bamboo structure of the Durga idols. 

“Within second of the idol being immersed, the crane is pulling out the structure and keeping it on the bank. The JCB’s then are picking up those bamboo structures of the idol and putting it on the vat vehicles and are immediately being taken away to our dumping grounds. The flower, ornaments are not allowed to be immersed. They are to be disposed off separately outside the ghat itself,” added Hakim. 


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