Calcutta High Court Declares Durga Puja Pandals ‘No Entry’ Zones For Revelers

With just three days to go for the festivities to begin, in view of the raging coronavirus pandemic, Calcutta High Court has declared all Durga Puja pandals across West Bengal as No Entry zones for revelers in view of the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Stating that all Durga Puja pandals be treated as ‘Containment Zones’, Calcutta High Court said on Monday that pandal hoppers would not be allowed within a five-metre distance for small pandals and 10 metre for big pandals.

Urging all Puja committees to submit a crowd management blueprint, the High Court has said only organisers or committee members would be allowed entry inside the pandals fixing an upper limit of 25 for bigger pandals and 15 for smaller pandals.

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Justice Sanjib Bandopadhyay questioned the government as to how 20,000 police personnel could manage a 2-3 lakh strong crowd of Puja revelers to which the state however said that the number of cops on duty would be increased.

The High Court order comes just days after it directed Durga Puja organisers to spend 75 per cent of the Rs 50,000 grant given by the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress government on  procurement of COVID-19 protection equipment including sanitizers and masks while specifying that the remaining amount needs to be spent on strengthening public-police bonding.

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