ADVERTISEMENT
Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » New Town CC Block hosts Durga Puja minus permission

Durga Puja 2022

New Town CC Block hosts Durga Puja minus permission

We have filed a total of three cases against the association, including one where we have challenged their right to use the puja ground: Biman Samaddar

Brinda Sarkar | Published 14.10.22, 01:37 PM
The Durga idol at New Town’s CC Block puja ground.

The Durga idol at New Town’s CC Block puja ground.

The Telegraph

This year a New Town puja was held without official permission. New Town CC Block Residents’ Welfare Association had been planning the festival in the block’s puja grounds for months but about an hour before inauguration on Panchami, the authorities denied them permission. 

"Our block has been organising puja since 2012 in empty plots and we moved into this puja ground with permission from NKDA (New Town Kolkata Development Authority) in 2018. This year too when we approached them they had verbally said it wouldn’t be a problem. But they declined permission at the eleventh hour,” said Subhasis Majumder, one of the founders of the puja near Biswa Bangla Gate.

Court order

What happened between 2021 and 2022 is a court case. Last year, the puja committee split and the other wing — that held a parallel puja under the banner of Newtown CC Block Puja Samity — filed a case against this one.

“We have filed a total of three cases against the association, including one where we have challenged their right to use the puja ground. We held puja there in 2019 but last year they forcefully captured the space,” said Biman Samaddar, secretary of the governing body of Newtown CC Block Puja Samity.

The pandal at New Town’s CC Block puja ground, where the puja was held without permission.

The pandal at New Town’s CC Block puja ground, where the puja was held without permission.

The Telegraph

While the case was being fought in court, both committees had begun preparing for their puja. The samity was holding its festivities at an empty plot and the association at the puja ground, where it held its puja even last year.

“NKDA kept telling us unofficially that we would get their green light  so we went ahead. With their permission, we were to seek permissions from the electric and fire departments too,” Majumder said. “But the officials handed us the rejection letter through a peon. This was at 5pm on Panchami.”

Puja must go on

The organisers were shell-shocked with the rejection but crowds had started swelling at their pandal. “Ours is a big puja with a budget of nearly Rs 10 lakh. Over 250 residents paid us subscriptions. We had arranged 250 chairs for cultural programmes and issued about 600 food coupons per day so we decided to go ahead,” Majumder said.

The puja drew electricity from residents’ homes against payment. “The electricity utility later sent officials to check our safety measures and left satisfied. Some officials came from NKDA too but no one from the fire brigade did. Despite not having permission, no one objected to the puja,” he said.

“There was an injunction on the plot over ownership claims. The dissident group kept protesting against the other group being allowed to hold puja there. The matter had reached court. The NKDA was directed by the court to pass an order within 24 hours. So we had to step in during Durga puja,” an official said.

The committee has not thought about what to do next year but are open to legal action.

Write to saltlake@abp.in

Last updated on 14.10.22, 01:37 PM
Share:
ADVERTISEMENT

More from My Kolkata