Durga Puja oraganisers across the state will get financial support to the tune of Rs 60,000 this year, up by Rs 10,000 from last year’s assistance.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced this after an administrative meeting with representatives of different puja committees at Netaji Indoor Stadium today.
Other than the financial assistance, the concession on the electricity bill for each puja pandal has been increased from 50 to 60 per cent this year.
In total, 43,000 pujas across West Bengal will be enjoying these facilities.
Banerjee also declared a 11-day leave for state government employees — from September 30 to October 10 — this year on the occasion of Durga Puja.
On September 1, a procession will be brought out to thank UNESCO for including Durga Puja in its intangible cultural heritage list. The procession will start from Jorasanko Thakurbari and terminate on Rani Rashmoni Road near Esplanade.
After the meeting, Banerjee requested the education department to invite 10,000 students to take part in the procession. “Representatives of UNESCO will be present on the occasion. We must make this event successful,” she said.
This year’s Puja carnival, where the organisers showcase Durga idols through a colourful procession, will be held on October 8 in Kolkata and October 7 elsewhere in the state.
The chief minister requested the organisers to ensure that no stampede-like situation happens during the puja. “There shouldn’t be any untoward situation that may dampen the festive spirit. Artisans who come to the city from rural areas should be welcomed,” she said.