Durga Puja organisers drive home road safety messages
Kolkata: Realising that creating awareness is one of the significant ways of reducing road accidents, organisers of various Durga Pujas have left no stone unturned in making people conscious about safe driving by organising different awareness programmes.
This comes at the time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had urged all Durga Puja organisers to take initiatives to create awareness among people. Banerjee had launched the state-wide "Safe Drive Save Life" campaign to reduce road accidents that claim several lives every year. Moreover, Bengal had come up as one of the states with maximum number of fatal accidents. Durga Puja organisers were found putting up hoardings and banners near their Puja mandaps to spread the message of "Safe Drive Save Life". Besides those being put up by the police, Puja organisers have also put up several huge sized banners all around the city. There were many Puja organisers who had even distributed helmets among people so that they stop riding motorbikes without putting on helmets. It may be mentioned that the state government and police had taken several steps to stop people riding motorbikes without helmets. Even petrol pumps had stopped giving fuel if one went to refill their two wheelers without wearing helmet.
In 2016, 3,573 that is the 26 per cent of the total road accidents (13580) were by two-wheelers in Bengal and it had claimed 1525 lives.
As crowds begin Puja parikrama, cops on their toes from Chaturthi
Kolkata: The police have made elaborate arrangements from Chaturthi which was on Sunday to avoid any untoward incident during Durga Puja when lakhs of people have already started hopping from one Puja mandap to another.
As announced earlier by the top brass of both the West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police, policemen have been deployed accordingly for crowd and traffic management from Chaturthi as it has been noticed for the past few years that people don't wait till Saptami to set out pandal hopping.
Senior police are on duty at important intersections and near Puja mandaps where the maximum crowd turns up.
Though at present, people keep visiting Puja mandaps even during the day, the main task of the police starts from evening when they start managing crowds and it continues till early next morning.
Long queues of pandal hoppers are seen waiting to enter the most popular Durga Puja mandaps in the city even at around 3 am in the morning. So police need to keep on performing their duty till the next morning.
Lakhs of people are already visiting Puja mandaps of popular Pujas like Tridhara Sammelani, Suruchi Sangha, Chetla Agrani, Ekdalia Evergreen, Singhi Prk, etc in South Kolkata. The picture was the same in North Kolkata's Ahiritola, Sovabazar, Kumartuli Park, etc.
In the evening of Chaturthi, Central Kolkata which hosts several big budget Pujas were also pulling in crowds.
Police also engaged volunteers mainly to make people follow certain guidelines. Another task that they perform is to make pandal hoppers walk on footpath to keep the roads clear for smooth traffic movement.
During the Puja, officers of the traffic department of the Kolkata Police are found keeping watch on motorbikes besides working to ensure smooth movement of vehicles. The police are found taking necessary stringent measures to stop rash driving of motorbikes during the Puja.
At the same time action is taken for carrying more than one person on a bike and for riding without wearing helmets.
The police were also keeping close watch and would take stringent measures if they find anyone moving around a crowded place suspiciously. The crowd size will increase in the next few days of the Pujas.