Heavy showers, water-logged streets and halted construction at a number of marquees is a major concern for many Durga puja organisers in Kolkata as the biggest carnival in this part of the world begins on October 4, Friday. From Knee-deep to ankle-deep water, many big budget marquee orgranisers have been forced to postpone their inauguration till 'panchami' (October 3).
According to the Regional Meteorological Centre, Alipore, the city and its adjoining districts received 37.3 mm rainfall over 24 hours till 8.20 a.m. on Sunday, while intermittent rains continued thereafter, reports IANS.
According to a media report, Durga puja committee organisers in Kolkata have formed rain monitoring sub committees to keep the precautionary measures on standby in case it rains. They have formed WhatsApp groups, which will provide time-to-time update on the weather condition. The organisers have made temporary sheds for devotees outside pandals to prevent any mishap.
Elaborating more on the arrangement, Manoj Shaw, Joint Secretary of Mudialia Club said, “We have a dedicated group who are keeping tabs of all the latest weather updates and planning the steps needed to prevent the rain from spoiling the celebrations. We have already increased the height of the roof of main pandal that can accommodate at least 200 people during heavy rain and will also make temporary sheds outside the pandal that can act as a cover for revellers.”
One of the popular organisers in South Kolkata, Maddox Square has built a makeshift roof to cover the field. The organising committee has also covered the ground with wooden platform. “The weather forecast was discussed at the meeting among our members and some of them were tasked to carry out the plan — blanketing the entire ground with sheds. Our Puja is famous for ample space where people can sit and talk. We don’t want rain to mar this part of the revelry,” said club member Ranajit Chakraborty.
Giving an update on the measures taken to tackle possible consequences, the Telengabagan Sarbojanin Durgotsab club secretary Amrita Shaw said, “We are regularly updating ourselves with new solutions based on ideas to tackle the situation. For rain-proofing, we have made layers of tarpaulin sheet under the facade and roof. We know that it makes us prone to fire related accidents but we will take proper steps to tackle fire emergency situation.”
In North Kolkata, AK Block Association in Salt Lake has decided to use the community hall next to the puja pandal as rain shelter. “We have also kept adequate space inside the pandal to accommodate people and made entry and exit gates extra wide for proper air circulation,” said convener Raja Banik.