Didi sets the mood, promises Puja sops this year too
The Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday decided to continue with its financial aid for the annual Durga Puja festival, which according to the chief minister was a Rs 32,377 crore enterprise.
“This is an ongoing project,” Mamata said referring to the annual festival shortly after state chief secretary Hari Krishna Dwivedi announced that the state government would provide Rs 50,000 to each of the nearly 36,000 Durga puja committees, big and small, across the state.
Of the 36,000 Durga Puja committees in the state, 2,500 are in Calcutta. Around 1,500 pujas are organised exclusively by women in Bengal.
Like in 2020, for the second consecutive year, the annual festival to be held under the cloud of the Covid pandemic, the government has decided on a 50 per cent waiver on electricity charges and full waiver of municipal and fire brigade charges.
“We have not yet decided on whether visitors will be allowed to visit pandals at night,” Mamata said. As of now, the movement of people is not allowed at night from 11pm to 5am as a part of Covid restrictions.
“There is over a month’s time still. We will decide on that after the elections when the situation will become clearer. If there is no third wave (of Covid) there should be no problem,” said Mamata.
The chief minister said she would also request clubs participating in the Puja festival to publicise various welfare schemes and projects of the state government.
Mamata has also asked the puja organisers, media houses and corporates to sponsor sanitisers and masks at the festival premises.
BJP moves poll panel
Later on Tuesday, Bengal BJP moved the Election Commission citing violation of the moldel code of conduct after the state government announced Durga puja sops.
The letter reads, “it was done to influence these clubs who play an important role in the electoral process & give undue advantage to Mamata Banerjee.”