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Pall of gloom on Vishwakarma Puja for Bowbazar's jewellery-makers

Kolkata: The lanes and bylanes of Bowbazar wore a deserted look on the occasion of Vishwakarma Puja, as business establishments of most of the traders have been damaged due to tunnel boring of East-West Metro.

Having suffered huge losses for more than two weeks, they couldn't manage to raise funds for buying idols and observe puja rituals. The pitiful situation stands in sharp contrast to the last few years, when this traders' hub was found abuzz with activities as many pujas were held in every nook and corner of the area.

"We don't have money to buy the idol for Vishwakarma Puja. Our jewellery manufacturing unit has been closed since September 1. We have performed puja with a photo frame of Vishwakarma," said Paritosh Dhar, who used to run a jewellery manufacturing unit situated at 95, Durga Pithuri Lane.

He reiterated that every year on the occasion of Vishwakarma Puja, all of his staff used to perform the rituals with zeal and enthusiasm.

"Every year, all the staff used to perform rituals together on Vishwakarma Puja. In the evening, we used to have dinner together at our manufacturing unit," added Dhar.

With a total of approximately 74 buildings having suffered severe damage or cracks in Bowbazar area due to tunnel boring for the East-West Metro project, the traders demanded that Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL), the implementing agency of the Metro project, should finish the restoration work soon.

"Vishwakarma Puja is performed in front of ornament manufacturing machines, which have been totally damaged. We couldn't perform Puja today. We urge KMRCL to complete restoration work of the building so that we can restart our business," said Vicky Suryawanshi, director of Vijay Assay Centre Pvt. Ltd (a BIS recognised gold jewellery hallmarking firm) situated at 12, Syakra Para Lane.

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