An under construction pandal at Bhuiyandih on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Small is not only beautiful. It’s safe too.
Jamshedpur Durga Puja Kendriya Samiti (JDPKS) seems to be saying so.
In its latest diktat, the samiti, which co-ordinates Durga Puja in the steel city, has asked the committees to create smaller pandals and get light idols to avoid problems during immersion.
“We have asked the puja committees to restrict the height of pandals to around 40 feet. We were forced to issue such a directive as last year, some tall pandals collapsed due to rain and gusty winds caused by cyclonic circulation. Such unpredictable weather is common in October, which is the withdrawal phase of monsoon,” said Rambabu Singh, the general secretary of the samiti.
He added that the puja organisers were also asked to opt for lighter idols with optimum height.
“Last year, we observed that some idols were so heavy that the members of the puja committees had a tough time carrying them during immersion. We want to avoid such situations this year,” Singh explained.
With less than a month left for the festive frenzy to grip the steel city, the apex puja body is chalking out measures to ensure smooth celebrations.
Another issue that the committee is tackling seriously is collection of donation through arm-twisting tactics from residents and traders. It has asked the puja organisers to refrain from such illegal act or else necessary action will be taken against them.
In 2010, several complaints about forcible donations had poured in from various parts of the city.
In another move to ensure a safe Durga Puja in all respects, the samiti held a meeting with artisans last week and advised them to use environment-friendly colours on the idols.
For the past few years, getting clay for the idols has also become a problem. Earlier, artisans brought clay from Domuhani area of Sonari. That option is no longer viable as residential complexes have mushroomed in the area. Nowadays, idol-makers have to travel to far-flung areas such as Tamolia, Asanboni and Huldung to get clay.
The city will play host to 285 pandals this year, with the samiti giving a nod to two new community pujas at Sonari and Mango. Last year, the count was 283.
After Calcutta in neighbouring Bengal, Jamshedpur witnesses the maximum number of Durga Puja pandals. Jamshedpur also comes second to Calcutta as far as grandeur and budget of Durga Puja is concerned.