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Rain spoiler for Kali Puja in East Midnapore

Tamluk showers damage pandals

By Anshuman Phadikar
  • Published 8.11.18, 12:13 AM
  • Updated 8.11.18, 12:13 AM
  • 2 mins read
Workers fix decorations spoiled in the shower at River Plate Club in Tumluk Telegraph picture

A sudden two-hour shower damaged over 50 Kali Puja pandals, some severely, in East Midnapore’s Tamluk town on Wednesday morning.

Nearly 500 Kali Pujas are held every year across the 50sqkm town. The downpour, which began at 5am and continued till 7am, spoilt the decorations of many of the pandals.

Met office sources said the rain was caused by a low-pressure trough over south Bengal. It rained in various parts of East and West Midnapores early on Wednesday morning.

“There was moisture incursion into land from the sea because of a north-south trough that stretched from east Bihar to Gangetic Bengal. But this trough started weakening during the day on Wednesday,” a Met official said.

One of Tamluk’s most prominent Kali pujas, organised by the River Plate Club, suffered badly. The pandal, which usually has a footfall of around 60,000, had been crafted out of hay and mud in keeping with its “rural Bengal” theme.

Club secretary Mantu Samanta said: “It cost Rs 5 lakh to build the pandal. We weren’t expecting rain today. It ruined a lot of our handiwork, which was made of clay and hay. It took us over two hours to drain the accumulated rainwater with a pump.”

Workers fix decorations spoiled in the shower at River Plate Club in Tumluk
Workers fix decorations spoiled in the shower at River Plate Club in Tumluk

The pandal, set up on a 7,000sqft primary school playground, was flooded and many clay dolls and earthen pots got damaged.

Nabakumar Thandar, the president of the club, said: “We had to hire 50 labourers on an emergency basis this morning after the rain stopped. That cost us a lot and added to our budget.”

A kilometre away, at the Kali Puja pandal of Friends’ Club, a lot of decorations had been done using pith (shola). The pith decorations were damaged irreparably.

Friends’ Club member Anirban Maity said: “We had a budget of Rs 2 lakh. Luckily the rain didn’t damage the inside of the pandal. But a lot of decoration with shola on the exterior was damaged beyond repair. No artisans were available for repairs them, so we just had to leave it as it is.”

At Hospital More, the town’s centre, Five Star Club’s puja pandal also bore the brunt of the rain, with jute decorations getting spoilt.

Club secretary Chanchal Khara said: “Thankfully the jute stick decorations on the outside were not damaged. But a lot of mud collected in front of the pandal, which we had to cover with sand.”

Agriculture department officials said 10mm of rain was recorded in Tamluk during the two-hour spell.

The weather, which cleared by 10am, did not deter visitors.

Sandip Bijli, a businessman from Haldia who was pandal-hopping in the afternoon with his family, said: “We come every year for the theme pujas. We initially thought we would not be able to go to Tamluk because of the rain. But later the sky cleared and we decided to come in the afternoon. We heard that the rain has damaged quite a few pandals, but the illumination has made it up for us.”