55 best idols to get pride of place in parade
After people in Bengal bade a tearful adieu to Goddess Durga on Vijay Dasami on Tuesday, the state has now begun preparations for the first-ever grand rally on Red Road as the best idols of the Goddess and other deities will be taken to river Hooghly for immersion.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took the initiative to organise the procession to let thousands of people watch the idols before they are immersed. The idols have been chosen from the 55 best Pujas that were conferred the Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman, 2016.
Banerjee, along with Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee and Home Secretary Malay De, will attend the programme scheduled to take place on October 14 at around 5 pm.
Hundreds of workers were seen working on a war footing to beautify both sides of Red Road. The main dais has been set up from where the Chief Minister, along with other dignitaries, will watch the idols pass by.
There will be ample seating arrangements on both sides of the road. Space has been created where around 100 dhakis will drum up their magic.
Senior police officers held a meeting with members of the Puja organising committees, whose idols will be taking part in the rally. They have been issued guidelines to avoid any untoward incident during the grand event.
The state government already announced names of the Durga Pujas which had won the Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman prize in different categories and idols of most of the award-winning Pujas will take part in the procession. Through this, people who missed visiting mandaps of big Pujas in the city due to heavy showers will get a glimpse of the idols in the procession.
It may be mentioned that rallies with idols of goddesses Jagaddhatri attract hundreds of tourists at Chandernagore in Hooghly every year, where artworks are showcased with extravagant lights.
The people are eagerly waiting to witness the rally with Durga idols on Red Road, which will be the first of its kind. However, organisers of the Durga Puja committees whose idols will take part in the rally are not ready to disclose their respective preparations for the rally.
Sources said that women and girls from different localities that hosted the Pujas will be performing dance and other cultural activities as the parade passes through Red Road along with their Durga idols.
Expecting thousands to show up, the police have taken necessary steps to avoid any untoward incident during the parade. A senior police officer said many tourists from other states and abroad will be present at the venue for the grand procession.
“This initiative of the Chief Minister will also boost the tourism industry in the state,” said an official of the Tourism department.