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Covid guidelines to keep Kali Puja a muted affair in pandals

Covid guidelines to keep Kali Puja a muted affair in pandals

KOLKATA: After the Calcutta High Court barred the entry of visitors into Kali Puja pandals, several puja organisers have come up with alternatives so that the goddess can be worshipped maintaining the Covid 19 guidelines sans gathering of devotees. Following all the guidelines laid by the state government and the court, they have come up with theme pandals too but with major modifications. Visitors will not be allowed to enter any of these pandals.

The Amherst Street Sadharan Kali Puja Committee has decided to reduce the height of its idol by half and shun all extravaganza in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Five Star Club of Girish Park has decided to decorate the pandal with lamps shaped as the novel coronavirus.

"This year, we have decided to illuminate the coronavirus lamp to symbolise the end of the pandemic," said Snehashish Dhar, a member of Girish Park Five Star Sporting Club.

In Barasat, the festivities will also remain as a low-key affair. Several renowned puja organisers in Kolkata and neighbouring Barasat town in North 24 Parganas have decided to do away with festive lightings and reduce the height of the idols.

"We are setting up a pandal which will remain open in all three sides. After discussions with the Barasat Municipality, we have decided to do away with the practice of erecting illuminated gates near marquees. This year, the pandal has a basic structure without any decoration. We are only concentrating on worshipping Kali Ma," said Shyamal Kar, a member of the puja committee at Nabapally Barasat.

The court has ordered that safety measures akin to those imposed during Durga Puja, including barring revellers from entering marquees, be undertaken during Kali Puja which falls on November 14 this year.

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