ADVERTISEMENT
Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Firhad Hakim asks organisers of Kali Puja and Durga Puja to remove pandals by Tuesday

Firhad Hakim

Firhad Hakim asks organisers of Kali Puja and Durga Puja to remove pandals by Tuesday

Deadline for organisers before business meet

Subhajoy Roy | Published 19.11.23, 05:30 AM
Scaffolding from a Kali Puja pandal on VIP Road, near Baguiati, on Saturday

Scaffolding from a Kali Puja pandal on VIP Road, near Baguiati, on Saturday

Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

Mayor Firhad Hakim on Saturday asked organisers of Kali Puja and Durga Puja to ensure that all pandals were removed by Tuesday.

Hakim said the Bengal Global Business Summit will take place in the city and the pandals should be removed.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two-day summit will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The mayor also added that the bamboo frames that were erected to put up hoardings and banners should be removed, too. If the organisers fail the deadline, the civic body will by itself pull down the frames for hoardings.

Such deadlines are not new. And they have proved to be largely ineffective.

Durga Puja was over nearly a month ago and some bamboo structures still remain. Kali Puja was on November 12 and organisers have appeared to be in no rush to take off the structures and clear the lanes and bylanes.

Officials of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) said “most Durga Puja pandals” have been dismantled but there are “many Kali Puja pandals” still standing in the middle of roads.

The three-day window for Kali idol immersion ended on November 15 (Wednesday).

A KMC official said about 10,000 Kali Pujas are held in the city, which is more than double the number of Durga Pujas. Many of these are small pujas held in narrow lanes and bylanes.

If the pandals are not dismantled quickly, it prolongs the everyday pain of local residents and people driving through the area.

The KMC official said that “at least one park in north Kolkata is still partially blocked by a Durga Puja pandal”.

“All Puja pandals must be removed by November 21. We are giving the organisers three more days. They cannot keep their pandals for an indefinite period,” Hakim said.

“After they remove the pandals, we have to fill up the holes made on roads for the pandals. The Bengal Global Business Summit will take place in the city (November 21-22) and the pandals must be removed,” he said.

The KMC had earlier issued notices to advertisers and advertising agencies asking them to remove all advertisement hoardings by November 2.

These were hoardings and banners put up ahead of Durga Puja but were not removed even several days after Puja ended. The commissioner of the KMC issued the notice that also mentioned that those who will miss the deadline would have to pay a penalty.

KMC sources said they had sent notices to over 110 advertisers and advertising agencies after November 2.

“We have also realised over Rs 2 lakh from advertisers and advertising agencies. We will send notices to more agencies,” he said.

The notice issued by the KMC commissioner mentioned that the civic body may impose a fine as per Section 203 (8) of the KMC Act on those who did not take away the advertisements by November 2.

Section 203 (8) of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act says that “if any person erects, exhibits, fixes or retains any advertisement… without paying the fees under this Chapter, he shall be punished with a fine, which may extend to three times payable as such fees”.

Under instructions from chief minister Mamata Banerjee, all advertisements put up in Kolkata ahead of Durga Puja are exempt from the civic levy.

The organiser of a Durga Puja said most contractors employed a number of people to erect a pandal but the number of people engaged to dismantle a pandal is far fewer.

“If the KMC wants to ensure that pandals were removed within a deadline, they must penalise puja organisers who miss the deadline,” he said.

Last updated on 19.11.23, 05:32 AM
Share:
ADVERTISEMENT

More from My Kolkata