Agartala, Oct. 9: Despite the occasional bouts of rainfall, Tripura is gearing up for Durga Puja with many organisers favouring theme-based pandals.
From the Uttarakhand tragedy to the Khajuraho and Tirupati temples, several themes have found expression in Agartala pandals. While Chhatra Bandhu on Netaji Subhas Road is replicating the Eiffel Tower of Paris for their pandal, Shantikami Sangha in Radhanagar is recreating the natural disaster in Uttarakhand through light and sound.
“The disaster in Uttarakhand was really devastating. Our animation engineers told us they would be able to recreate the scenes and hence, we chose to use it as our theme,” said Sushil Sinha, secretary of Shantikami Sangha. He said the cost of the pandal and the idols will reach Rs 15 lakh.
The nearby Pole Star Club is recreating the Kedarnath temple and Lord Shiva’s idol submerged in the aftermath of the devastation in Uttarakhand. Other themes on display the Meenakshi temple of Tamil Nadu and the Vaishnodevi temple in Jammu and Kashmir.
Many community Puja organisers will also distribute mahaprasad, free clothes to the poor, among others. This year, more than 2,500 community Pujas are being organised across the state though the exact number will be known only on Saptami on Friday. “All organisers require permission from the municipal council or nagar panchayat, police, fire brigade and BSNL authorities. We can give the exact number only on Friday after calculating the number of applications,” said B.K. Chakraborty, deputy chief executive officer of Agartala Municipal Council.
Security has been beefed up all over the state with the deployment of 20,000 forces in all towns and block headquarters, including the capital. The BSF has been put on high alert to guard the 856kmlong border with Bangladesh.
Closed-circuit television cameras have been put up in specific locations here in addition to round-the-clock duty by sniffer dog squads and bomb squads here as well as in the district and sub-divisional headquarters. Besides, metal detectors will be put at the entrances to all major community Pujas.
The state government has initiated measures to reduce load-shedding during the Puja days till next Wednesday. Power minister Manik Dey said the peak-hour demand during Puja would be 280MW, while the generation capacity is only 110MW. Another 70MW will be availed from the central pool and Neepco.
“The deficit will be made up by importing power from outside the state. The governments of Mizoram and Meghalaya have agreed to give us additional power for Durga Puja and we will repay them during Christmas when they need more power,” the minister said.