Visitors stopped, later allowed in Santosh Mitra Square
Kolkata: Kolkata Police stopped public viewing of Durga Puja at Santosh Mitra Square on the last day of the festival on Saturday but allowed visitors in after about 14 hours when the PWD authorities granted it a fit certificate.
PWD civil and electrical teams inspected the pandal, where an alleged electrical short circuit had taken place, and declared the pandal "fit" for public viewing.
"We have tested the electrical wires and provided some added protective tapes to cover them. We do not think there will be any problem with the electrical circuit. There is also no problem in the structure of the pandal and it is absolutely fit for the public to visit," PWD engineers said after inspecting the pandal.
A written 'no objection certificate' was collected from the PWD engineers by Kolkata Police officials after which the pandal, which has been attracting a lot of attention this year because of its pandal and idol, was reopened to over several hundreds of waiting visitors.
The fire department conducted an inspection at the pandal and okayed the arrangements there. According to a senior police officer of the Kolkata Police, smoke was seen coming out of the chandelier at the Santosh Mitra Square puja pandal at around 1.10 am tonight following which the public viewing of the idol was stopped. "There was a huge sound inside the pandal at around midnight. Several thousand people were at the pandal at that time. After a short while, some of our police officers spotted smoke coming from the chandelier ceiling lamp following which the decision to stop public viewing of the puja was taken for the sake of public security," he said. Fire department, along with a team of police personnel, rushed to the spot. The organisers had a verbal duel with the police personnel posted at the pandal venue. "We are happy that the administration has revoked their decision and reopened our puja for general public. But whatever happened is unexpected," Santosh Mitra Square Puja committee president Pradip Ghosh later said, rubbishing any short circuit incident.
"This is absolute nonsense. There was no smoke inside our puja pandal. If there was any fire there must have been some sign of it around or inside the pandal. This is nothing but a conspiracy of Kolkata
Police who had failed in controlling the crowd visiting our puja," he said.