The Hume Pipe Bhuiyandih Sarbajanin Durga Puja pandal under construction on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
With Durga Puja less than a month away, East Singhbhum district administration and puja committees are gearing up for plastic-free festivities in the city.
At a meeting at the district collectorate on Friday, presided over by Dhalbhum subdivisional officer (SDO) Prem Ranjan, it was decided that the pandals and its nearby areas would be earmarked as plastic-free zones.
“The representatives of Jamshedpur Durga Puja Kendriya Samiti, an umbrella organisation of all Puja committees, proposed to make the pandals plastic-free zones to show their sensitivity towards environment. We welcomed their proposal and assured them of full cooperation from our side,” Ranjan said.
Around 290 puja committees in the steel city, who have erected their pandals for the festival from October 9 to 14, will use jute bags instead of plastic to give away the bhog handis to the devout.
Samiti representative Ram Babu Singh said they would be procuring around 3 lakh jute bags with help of Rotary Club of Jamshedpur and distribute them among different Puja committees.
“For the first time, we will also ask vendors and makeshift shopkeepers near the pandals to desist from using plastic and instead use jute bags. We are requesting committees to use eco-friendly materials for making the idols to prevent river pollution during immersion,” Singh added.
The district administration, on its part, will issue directives to local police stations to ensure that Puja organisers do not use loudspeakers after 10pm. “The directive would be issued next week. Offenders will have amplifiers seized,” SDO Ranjan said.
East Singhbhum DSP (traffic) R.M. Sinha promised to press Tiger Mobile units into service on roads to keep an eye on youths, indulging in rash driving and bike stunts during the puja rush.
“Tiger Mobile units will hand over offenders to the local police station for punitive action in accordance with law,” Sinha added.
All Puja committees have been asked to submit details of spaces available for parking in the vicinity of their pandals to the district administration.
“The traffic police and the district administration after jointly going through the details would be earmarking the designated parking arenas. Vehicle found parked outside allotted spaces would be fined Rs 500,” the traffic DSP added.
Traffic police will also use breathalysers to rein in drunken driving. “Eight breathalysers would be pressed into service,” Sinha said.