Kolkata's Durga Puja organisers seek modifications in HC order barring entry for visitors to pandals
The organisers have asked the court to issue directions on how to conduct pushpanjali rituals as well as define small and big marquees as stated in its order
Kolkata: An association of Durga Puja organisers in the metropolis on Tuesday filed a petition before the Calcutta High Court seeking "minor modifications" to its order that marquees be made 'no-entry zones' to prevent the spread of COVID-19 .
The court said the petition will come up for hearing on Wednesday.
A division bench of justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee had on Monday ordered that barricades be put up around all the Durga Puja marquees in the state to prevent the entry of anyone barring a few puja committee members.
The 'Forum for Durgotsab', which has over 300 puja committees under its umbrella, has sought "little modifications" to the order, its counsel and TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee said, without giving further details.
He submitted before the court of Justice Sanjib Banerjee that the order was passed without hearing out the puja committees as they were not a party to the case.
The forum also sought the court's guidance on conducting community 'pushpanjali' rituals by adhering to the order, one of its founder members, Partha Ghosh, said.
"We had decided to conduct the rituals in a staggered manner by not allowing more than 20 devotees at a time. Now, with the court directing maintenance of 5-metre distance from smaller marquees and 10 metres from the bigger ones, we need to be clear on how to organise community 'pushpanjali', Ghosh, also an office-bearer of the Shib Mandir Durga Puja, told PTI.
The forum also sought clarity on categorisation of big and small pujas, he said.
"We had made elaborate arrangements for separate entry and exit points. But, with the court's order, there is a possibility of crowding near the marquees and visitors bumping into one another.
"This will be a problem even more for the pujas organised on narrow lanes, where visitors are not allowed to return on the same route after seeing the idols," another forum member Saswata Basu said.
Basu hoped the judges will understand the ground situation and wished to invite them to inspect the arrangements, which he claimed, already adhere to the COVID-19 protocol.
A renowned Durga Puja committee, the Mudiali Club, while appreciating the court order issued in the interest of people's safety, said in a Facebook post that allowing only 25 committee members inside the marquee will deprive others of an opportunity to worship the goddess.
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The health ministry reported that the national coronavirus recovery rate has improved to 98.36 percent, the highest since March 2020
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