Monday, 30th October 2017

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In steel town, metal-rib pandals beat bamboo

Jamshedpur’s new breed of spacious and uncluttered domes is also fire-resistant

By Antara Bose in Jamshedpur
  • Published 18.10.18, 11:43 PM
  • Updated 18.10.18, 11:43 PM
  • a min read
The canopy pandal at RD Bhatta Contractor’s Area Durga Puja in Bistupur, Jamshedpur. (Bhola Prasad)

It’s simple, safe, strong and fire-proof.

Coir rope-fastened bamboo pandals are passe. Welcome to the era of canopies, a new variety of pandals made of steel and iron rods and tarpaulins commonly seen in national and international trade fairs.

This year, a number of Puja committees had opted for such structures which are not only light weight and tough, but pocket-friendly, too. Among them were RD Bhatta Contractor’s Area Durga Puja, Rankini Mandir Durga Puja and Jamshedpur Sarbajanin Durga Puja, Aambagan.

CH Area Northern Town Durga Puja Committee started the trend in 2011, which wowed pandal-hoppers with its spacious, uncluttered look, which offered free movement. The pandal also gave visitors a clear view of the idol.

Jamshedpur Durga Puja Kendriya Samiti, the apex body of Puja committees, and the district administration had earlier asked the committees to opt for such structures which are spacious and more importantly, fire resistant.

“Aambagan’s Puja means a huge gathering. Moreover, there is always the risk of rain. A spacious pandal would mean safety of the visitors, too. Fire safety is another issue that we cannot ignore. The canopy pandal is also cost-effective,” said Soumya Sen, a member of Jamshedpur Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee popularly known as The Bengal Club. The Aambagan ground is one of the busiest places during the four days of Puja.

A canopy pandal is built using fire-resistant SRF tarpaulins and iron scaffoldings. The structures are not only light, but more spacious, too.

These structures can be put in place in four days and does not require a month as in the case of bamboo pandals.

“Canopy pandals are spacious, safe and cost effective. A lot of Puja committees are now opting for these structures. Pandal hoppers, too, like the concept,” said Prakash Rao, executive in-charge of the RD Bhatta Contractor’s Area Durga Puja Committee.

A canopy pandal would cost around Rs 4-6 lakh as compared to the traditional pandals that would go up to Rs 10-15 lakh.