Ensure Puja organisers follow Covid norms, state tells DMs

Kolkata: With similar Covid guidelines to be followed this year also during Durga Puja the Bengal government on Wednesday directed district authorities to ensure that Puja preparations by respective organisers should be made keeping the pandemic situation in mind.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already stated in Tuesday's coordination meeting that last year's protocols would be followed this time. Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi on Wednesday held a virtual conference with District Magistrates, superintendents of police, police commissioners (apart from district magistrate and superintendent of police of Murshidabad and Commissioner of Kolkata Police), inspector general of police of different zones and deputy inspector general of police on Durga Puja preparation.

Sources said that the officers have been directed to ensure that the puja pandals should be spacious enough and remain open from three sides like last year. Stress has to be given on crowd control besides carrying out sanitization. Distribution of masks has to be mandatory. It has been stated that the situation this year is much different than that of in 2020. The reason being there was containment zones last time while this year the covid positivity rate has dropped to 1.5 per cent. Moreover, the maximum number of people would come under the coverage of double vaccination. As a result more people may move out this time compared to that of in 2020. District administration has been asked to be alert in terms of crowd management to ensure no surge in Covid cases.

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