Artistes stage Mahishasurmardini on Mahalaya at Durga Bati, a temple in Ranchi, on Friday. (Prashant Mitra)
Jamshedpur puja pandals, ignoring safety norms, beware. For, the district administration is threatening to cancel licences of organisers if it spots any lacunae.
The civil defence unit of East Singhbhum, a state owned organisation, has been entrusted with the task of compiling a dossier on all the 290 licensed Durga Puja pandals of the steel city on safety parameters.
Dhalbhum sub-divisional magistrate Prem Ranjan would go through the report carefully and those pandals found wanting in adopting safety measures, would be showcaused.
Ranjan, who is also deputy controller of the civil defence unit, said the erring pandals would be asked to explain why their licences should not be cancelled. “We have distributed questionnaires on various safety parameters to all licensed Durga Puja committees. The filled up form would have to be submitted at the civil defence office at Northern Town in Bistupur by October 6,” said Shakil Khan, deputy chief warden of the civil defence unit.
After going through the response of each puja pandal, a monitoring cell of the civil defence unit would embark on inspections. Members of the cell would match their findings with the response of the puja committees.
An inspection report on non-compliance of safety norms would be submitted to the Dhalbhum sub-divisional magistrate and East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, who is controller of the civil defence district unit.
“The monitoring cell will be undertaking random inspections of puja pandals and cross-check firsthand the claims made in the filled-up safety questionnaires. If there is non-compliance, we would be issuing a notice to the committee, asking it to explain why its licence should not be cancelled,” Ranjan said.
He admitted that “religious sentiments” may prevent them from taking strict action — read outright ban — this year. But, licences of erring pandals would definitely be cancelled.
These would be renewed only after the puja committee assured the administration of putting in place mandatory safety norms.
“There is a database of all licensed puja committees. The licence of erring would be renewed next year only after a thorough inspection,” he said.