Lakhs step out on Maha Shasthi
Kolkata: With favourable weather despite predictions of rainfall during Durga Puja, lakhs of pandal-hoppers hit the roads on Maha Shasthi on Tuesday to visit their favourite Puja pandals.
While visiting one Puja pandal to the other, everyone seems to have prayed for a favourable weather condition and the continuance of the same for the next four days — Saptami, Asthami, Nabami and Dashami — when more and more people will be doing "puja parikrama".
It may be recalled that the Meteorological department had predicted moderate rainfall during the Pujas.
Satarupa Ghosh, a pandal-hopper, said: "We wait all year for these days and thus, we never expect rains to spoil the fun. We just hope that there is no rainfall in the next few days so that we can visit maximum number of Puja mandaps."
"We are thankful to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as she starts inaugurating Puja mandaps from the day of Mahalaya. It gives us opportunity to visit Puja mandaps for three to four days more," Ghosh said.
It may be mentioned that it was Tritiya from when people started visiting the Puja mandaps this year. The Chief Minister first inaugurated the puja pandal at Shree Bhumi Sporting Club in Lake Town where the pandal resembles the huge palace of Mahesmati of the blockbuster Bahubali.
It is one of the biggest crowd-pullers this year with lakhs of people visiting it every day.
Similarly, in South Kolkata, pujas organsied by Suruchi Sangha, Deshapriya Park, Tridhara Sammelani, Ekdalia Evergreen and Chetla Agrani are the major crowd-pullers. North Kolkata has also left a mark with its Puja at Kumartuli Park and like all the previous years, people started pouring into Sovabazar Sarbajonin which is known for its traditional form of puja.
However, amid all excitement, it may be mentioned that the police are on Puja duty since Chaturthi and they will also be on their toes till the immersion of Durga idols so that commoners do not face any inconvenience.
Additional policemen have been deployed to ensure better crowd control and to manage the traffic. Senior police officers continue be on the roads throughout the night to ensure that people can visit puja mandaps without any problem.
It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had urged people not to pay heed to rumours that often leads to deterioration of the law and order situation. Keeping the CM's message in mind, the police are still creating awareness among people through social media to maintain peace and harmony during the festive season.