The five-day Durga Puja festivities in Bengal came to an end on Monday, albeit colourful processions, which typically mark the occasion, were in large part lacking from the city Roads, as the idol immersion ceremony used to be observed by just a handful of people.
Dressed in traditional outfits and with masks worn on faces, devotees, while maintaining protected distance, touched the feet of goddess Durga as chants of ‘asche bochor abar hobe’ (till next year) rent the air.
Women offered sweets to the goddess, even as the traditional ‘Sindur Khela’ (women smear every other with vermilion) used to be mostly restricted to organisers and a couple of native residents at the pandals.
In some parts of the state, effigies of Ravana fashioned as the coronavirus were burnt as a part of Bijoya Dashami celebrations.
According to Kolkata Police sources, adequate arrangements had been made to make sure the idol immersion ceremony used to be peaceable in all places, with CCTVs installed at all river ghats and personnel from civic bodies and Kolkata Port Believe (KoPT) present at the venue to monitor the situation.
All puja committees were told to send naked minimum members to the ghats for the observing the rituals.
Near to 1,800 idols were immersed in more than a few ghats of the city till 9 pm, police said. Around 54 ghats were earmarked for immersion.
Heavy cranes constant atop boats were seen in action at one of the crucial ghats to help lift and extricate the remains of the idols from the river to keep away from water pollution.
Some puja committees came up with innovative ideas, placing the idols in makeshift water reservoirs and sprinkling water to dissolve those.
This year, alternatively, the Durga Puja carnival at Red Street, where big ticket committees showcase their idols before participating in the immersion procession, has been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)
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