CCTVs, Help Desks Mandatory For Puja Pandals In Guwahati
Taking no chances with law and order ahead of the festive season, the district administration has issued a slew of guidelines for all puja pandals to ensure installation of safety and vigilance measures in all pandals and to ensure security of devotees.
The official order says, “Install sufficient CCTV cameras in and around puja pandals at strategic places in consultation with the local police station. Open a 'help desk' which is to be manned 24X7 by members/volunteers of the puja committees.”
The district administration held a meeting on Thursday, September 19, with the representatives of various puja committees along with officials of the Guwahati Police Commissionerate, Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA), Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL), and Disaster Management Authority, chaired by the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Biswajit Pegu.
This year, the pandals have been asked to keep a designated area clear for emergency evacuation and also a medical team comprising a doctor ready to handle any emergency situation.
Adequate provisions for fire fighting in the pandal, including buckets with sand, fire extinguishers, etc are to be made readily available at all pandals and adequate number of volunteers are to be briefed well in advance to manage/control crowd.
Emphasis has also been put on maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in the pandal and its vicinity along with provisions for drinking water facility.
Addressing the gathering, Commissioner of Police Deepak Kumar asked all the puja organising committees to register themselves with the police and also stay in constant touch with the officer-in-charge of the respective local police stations.
“The puja committee have to inform police at least seven days in advance in case they invite any VIP and high risk dignitary to their Durga Puja and also meticulously follow instructions of the police in such case,” said Kumar.
He further asked the puja committees to ensure peaceful observation of Durga Puja by keeping the general area of Durga Puja pandal clear of all dangerous articles. Ban the use of alcohol and psychotropic substance from the venues completely and provide accommodation and other logistic facilities to police personnel deputed for guarding the pandals, he urged the committee members.
Additionally, guidelines have been issued for immersion of Goddess Durga idols. Puja committees have been asked to take out their processions by 11 AM without fail on the day of immersion.
“Follow the routes and directions given by the administration for immersion of the Goddess Durga idols. Prohibit the bursting of crackers during immersion as it may cause serious accidents and violation of any rules/regulations by any person would reflect directly on the committee,” said Pegu.
In the pandals
• CCTV cameras in and around puja pandals at strategic places
• Help desk to be manned 24X7
• Designated area clear for emergency evacuation
• Medical team comprising a doctor to be available
• Adequate provisions for fire fighting
• Emphasis on maintaining hygiene and cleanliness
• Alcohol and psychotropic substances to be banned at the venues completely
Puja celebrations in Guwahati to be eco-friendly this year
Durga Puja or, as the Bengalis call it, Durga Pujo is just round the corner to soak the entire city in celebration. As the day approaches, citizens have been gripped with shopping fervor to prepare themselves for the Puja hopping. What makes for a magnificent sight during the last four days of the festival are the Puja pandals set up across the length and breadth of the city which gets better and grander every year.
As the celebrations become grander, the amount of waste generated each year during the festival also increases manifold.
Considering this, the district administration has appealed to the puja organising committees to refrain from using plastic this year in order to be more conscientious towards the environment and eco-system. It has been advised that natural clay, bamboo, coir ropes, straws and various other natural materials should be used instead of baked clay, plaster of Paris, synthetic ropes etc for making the idols.
In this regard, some committees have already started taking steps to ensure eco-friendly puja. To avoid water pollution in Brahmaputra River during the immersion of idols, a Durga Puja committee in Noonmati has taken a unique step by creating an idol from marble.
The 800 kg idol, which has been installed in the Durga Temple, has been made in Rajasthan and costs Rs 8 lakhs. The new Durga idol installed in the temple has been set permanently and only the earthen pot will be immersed on the day of 'Bhasani'.
The temple management also informed that they will ban the use of plastic inside the temple premises during the puja and instead they will use paper bags and plates.
With plastic ban being enforced in the city from October, puja celebrations at other pandals are also expected to be eco-friendly this year.