With just a few days left for auspicious Durga Puja festival, starting from October 1-5, preparations have already begun in Guwahati with lots of enthusiasm among people to welcome Goddess Durga.
The shops, malls, etc. have started to gather crowds and along with this puja committees have also started to decorate pandals.
The Rest camp, Shantipur, Latasil, Nayantara, Bishnupur, Ganeshguri, Chatribari, Nambari, are some of the puja mandaps where the mandaps are decorated in different themes.
For the last two years, the Durga Puja festival was celebrated under strict restrictions from the government across India owing to covid-19 outbreak.
However, this year Assam government is not planning to release any Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for the upcoming Durga Puja.
Preparations have started for the festival in parts of Guwahati and this time, as there is no SoP from the government, melas and cultural programs will be organised.
Rest Camp Durga Puja
Rest camp Kalibari Durga Puja Committee has already started preparation for puja mandap and idols with a budget of Rs. 20 lakhs.
Every year they try new themes in their pandals due to which huge crowd gathers over there to offer their prayers and get blessings and this year they are planning to make it in ‘Kedarnath’ theme.
The Secretary of the Puja Committee, Pradip Sengupta, said, “The idol makers are from Dhirenpara and the idols are being in the mandap itself as idols are huge and it will be difficult to bring it from there.”
“As there is no SoP this time, we are organizing cultural programs and melas,” he added.
Shantipur Durga Puja
The Shantipur Committee has also started preparation for puja mandap with a budget of Rs. 20 lakhs and the theme will be ‘Heritage’ made from jute leaves.
General Secretary of the committee, Nilabh Jyoti Das, said, “We are planning to invest more in light shows this time and the idol makers are from Jalpaiguri.”
Nayantara Durga Puja
Meanwhile, the Nayantara Puja Committee is going to organize puja with a budget of Rs. 12 lakhs and the theme will be ‘Nature and Birds.’
“We are going to provide fewer amounts of light shows this time and cultural programs will be held for all age groups. The idol makers are from Nayantara itself,” Promod Barman, secretary of the puja committee.
Rules Issued For Durga Puja
However, recently the District Transport Officer of Kamrup (Metro) has asked the Durga Puja Committees to display road safety messages, such as ‘Don’t drink and drive,’ ‘Use seatbelts’ and so on, in the mandaps.
Along with these heavy fines will be imposed on traffic rules violators.
A fine of Rs. 10,000 will be imposed on drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and helmets are necessary for both drivers and pillion riders.
Moreover, Puja Committees have been asked not to hold pandals on the street and to install CCTV in all puja pandals.
Immersion of idols will not be allowed at Pandu ghats this time, instead it will take place at Betkuchi, Basistha, Kachari, and Sunsali ghats.