CM to inaugurate Uttarbanga Utsav on January 21
Darjeeling: The inauguration ceremony of the Uttarbanga Utsav has been rescheduled with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurating the festival on January 21.
State Tourism minister Goutam Deb held an administrative meeting on Tuesday at the Mainak Tourist Lodge in Siliguri. "We have got a confirmation from the Chief Minister's Office that she will be arriving in Siliguri on January 21. On arrival at around 2 pm, she will inaugurate the Uttarbanga Utsav," he stated.
The inauguration ceremony will be held at Siliguri's Kanchenjunga Stadium.
There will around 30,000 spectators present at the launch. About 100 conches will be blown in synchronisation at the time of inauguration.
A large number of womenfolk have been imparted training for blowing the conches in sync and just about 100 would be selected from amongst them.
There will be around 1,000 dancers performing at the inauguration ceremony.
"We have decided to make it a global event. We are even trying for a world record. Around 20,000 children will take part in a sit-and-draw competition at the venue on January 28. The competition will be videographed using drones," said the minister.
The Chief Minister had started the festival after her government had come to power and this is its eighth edition.
The police and administrative heads were also present during the meeting. Special focus is being given to traffic arrangements for January 21 and 28 so that students from different schools can make it to the stadium smoothly for the inaugural ceremony and take part in the sit-and-draw competition in large numbers. Banerjee could be leaving Siliguri for the Hills either on January 21 evening or on 22. On January 23 she will take part in the state government programme commemorating the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in the Hills. She could be returning to Kolkata on January 24.
"The venue for the Netaji Jayanti has not been fixed yet. It will either be held at the Darjeeling Chowrasta or at Giddeypahar, Kurseong," Deb added. At Giddeypahar, Kurseong, the Bose family used to own a villa that now houses a Netaji Museum and Centre for Studies in Himalayan Languages, Society and Culture.