In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Calcutta High Court ordered that no visitors will be allowed inside Durga Puja Pandals in the West Bengal.
Further, Puja Mandaps will be treated as “Containment Zones”. Only organizers, that too only upto 25, can enter pandals, said a division bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee. The court also asked to put “No Entry” signs near Durga pooja pandals and people should be made aware by campaigns.
The Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the issue of Durga pooja allowed in the state during the pandemic. The court saw that the state police lacks enough resources to control the crowd during the event. The court order also read that the names of Durga Puja organisers should be displayed outside the pandals and will not to be a subject of regular change.
The Court order will hugely impact the people of West Bengal as Durga pooja is one of the major festivals there. There are about 37,000 Durga poojas organised across the state. The State government has announced the allocation of Rs. 50,000 each to all the 37,000 pooja pandals. Last week, the Calcutta High Court in an order said that the money announced will only be spent on distribution of masks, sanitisers and community policing, and not for organizing Durga puja.