Calcutta's satellite city New Town to get first community Durga Puja this year
New Town, a rapidly developing satellite city of Kolkata, is slated to get its first community Durga Puja this year, organisers said on Thursday.
West Bengal's biggest festival was till now celebrated inside New Town's gated communities, where outsiders could view the idols and offer their prayers but only residents could participate in various programmes. During the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entry of outsiders was restricted.
However, the new community Durga Puja to be celebrated on City Square Ground near New Town Clock Tower will be open to everyone for even participation in the events, they said.
The festival, which will be organised by the New Town Sarbojanin Durgotsab Samiti, an association of residents of the area, has been backed by the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO) and New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), making it the first community puja to be supported by state agencies.
Organisers hope that the festival, which is around five months away, will give a boost to tourism and businesses, besides helping build the brand of New Town.
"We hope this community Durga Puja will help bring the residents of New Town closer," WBHIDCO Managing Director and NKDA Chairman Debashis Sen said.
The puja committee has become the first to elaborate its plans for celebrating the festival in the Kolkata region where organisers vie to attract crowds with decoration, themes and idols.
"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is credited with taking Durga Puja to the global stage. We are committed to showcasing the various art forms of our state," the New Town festival committee's president Urmila Sen said, referring to the UNESCO Intangible Heritage tag for Durga Puja.
The logo of the committee, with the tagline 'Notun Shohor, Notun Pujo' (New City, New Puja), has been designed by renowned artist Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharjee. It was unveiled at Press Club Kolkata on Wednesday.
The theme will be conceptualised and executed by well-known Durga Puja artist Prasanta Pal, who had in the past brought laurels to many pujas with his artwork.