Guwahati: Residents of Assam’s capital Guwahati gear up to celebrate the biggest festival with full fervour and grandeur once again after two years of pandemic-related restrictions.
This year, the 5-day long festival of Durga Puja starts on October 1.
With a few weeks left before Durga Puja, artists give final touches to the idols of Goddess Durga at a community puja pandal. However, Guwahati’s Durga Puja celebrations and its creative and exquisite pandals are renowned across the state.
With the festival round the corner, preparations in the state are underway.
The making of the gigantic puja pandal has also begun. Every year, organizers decide to a theme that will be represented by the Puja pandals, idols, and decorations.
Meanwhile, for last-minute purchases, the revellers have flocked to the city’s huge shopping areas.
Maligaon’s Shobujh Math Durga Puja’s committee member, Vikram Das told to TIME8, “We are constructing a regular pandal this year because we will be celebrating the golden jubilee the next year, therefore we will make it remarkable with a theme.”
“However, the pandal is planned to be quite large than last year, so that five hundred devotees can visit them”, he added.
“We have already submitted our application to the Public Works Department (PWD) as per the administration’s SOP”, Das added.
On the other hand, Pandu’s Triangular Railway Colony Puja pandal will be constructed in such a way that it will depict village life.
Speaking to TIME8, the Triangular Railway Colony committee’s secretary Somnath Mozumdar said, “This year the pandal is planned to be large and grand. The theme will focus on village life and culture.”
“We have put a stronger focus on using eco-friendly colours, in addition to the interior decoration and the complete construction. The objective of this year’s pandal is environmental protection and our puja budget is approximately around 5 lakhs”, Mozumdar added.
On Monday, Kamrup (Metro) district administration issued new directives for festive Durga Puja celebrations in Guwahati.
According to officials, to organise the Pujas, every Puja committee must obtain authorization from the local police.
The Puja committees have been asked not to hold pandals on the streets. Driving on the wrong side will also attract a hefty fine during this Puja. CCTVs have to be mandatorily installed in all Puja pandals and each pandal committees must have its own volunteers.
The administration has also requested the committees not to use too much lightning inside the pandals.
The Durga idols must be made from materials that are fully pollution-free. Additionally, the administration has directed committees to submerge Goddess Durga idols during the day.
The administration appealed that before 9 pm all cultural programs must wrap up and not play loud music.
The administration also stated that talks on the electrical issue will be made with the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) and all puja committees must make fire extinguishers available as safety and preventative measure. Additionally, the committees are required to provide first aid services in case of an emergency.
Dustbins must be provided in order to maintain cleanliness surrounding the Puja pandals. All people need to have access to clean drinking water, thus that must be a top concern for the committees.
Earlier, Assistant Commissioner of Transport and DTO (R&L), Kamrup (metro), Gautam Das said that “Driving under the influence of alcohol during this Puja could lead to heavy fines up to Rs 10,000 and the licenses of the violators will be canceled for three months.”