Durga Puja 2019: Disaster Zone Becomes Backdrop in North Kolkata's Bowbazar
Every year, during Durga Puja celebrations, Kolkata transforms into an art lover's paradise with different neighbourhoods creating beautiful installations and marquees in honour of the Goddess. This year, Shyakra Para Lane Durga Puja in Bowbazar, Kolkata is taking place against the backdrop of an actual disaster.
The Durga Puja in Shyakra Para Lane is happening a few metres from a disaster zone where a tunnel boring machine, aquifer, leading to the flooding of the tunnel and subsidence of land above. It led to the collapse of six buildings in Durga Pithuri Lane and Shyakra Para Lane and made another 80 buildings unsafe for residents, reported Times of India.
The organisers decided to make the tilted buildings in the neighborhood the backdrop of the idol by keeping the rear portion of the marquee uncovered.
Biswanath Jana, the treasurer of the Shyakra Para Lane Yubak Samiti said while it happened unwittingly, they decided to keep it this way adding that in the past, several committees had replicated disasters like the earthquake in Gujarat’s Bhuj and Tsunami as their themes to depict the extent of the disaster and damage.
However, taking the concept of theme forward, people visiting their puja will be able to have a look, of course from a distance, how buildings crumbled, cracked and tilted.
He added that there will be real policemen and machinery for demolition at the site and restrictions will be in place.
Jana further added that they are thankful to the KMRC officials and the officers of Muchipara police station for letting us organise the Puja.
Almost 680 residents were displaced when the disaster struck and only close to 120 residents have been able to return after the buildings they were staying in were declared safe.
The residents of Shyakra Para Lane, most of whom are temporarily staying in hotels or rented accommodations, received permission to organise the 57-year-old Durga Puja on Mahalaya.
The budget for the puja has been scaled down this year but they are organising the puja to not break traditions. From 3.5 lakhs, the puja has been scaled down to Rs 50,000. The idol too will be of only foot feet in height and will be brought on Chaturthi when KMC workers take their puja break.