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October 14, 2013

Maa Durga bids farewell, city administration gears up for immersion process

Maa Durga bids farewell, city administration gears up for immersion process
Rainy days and Monday always dampens the spirit in people; so does Dashami every year. Four days of festivities, four days of glittering Kolkata, and suddenly it’s over. Sentiments apart, Dashami is the day when the immersion of Durga Idols start, and the administration takes up a tiresome yet essential process of maintaining peace and order.
The immersion of Durga Idol in the Hooghly River was restricted to a few Ghats earlier – Babu Ghat, Princep Ghat, Outram Ghat etc. This had been a cause of general discontent. To the relief of the administration, once again West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee has stepped in and provided her suggestions, which are sure to ease out the issues.
Firstly, two days have been fixed for the immersion process. It is to be noted that the 5-6 day process of immersion, which was followed earlier, led to traffic snarls because of the pre-immersion processions. According to the suggestion given by the Chief Minister, ghats should be allotted to puja committees for idol immersion according to locality.
The local police stations will call on the organizations in their respective jurisdiction and inform all the necessary procedures, routes and dates regarding the immersion process. The Chief Minister also suggested Kolkata Police and KMC to increase the number of Ghats to be used for immersion. She also suggested that the Puja Committees should decide the timing of the immersion processions and inform the administration of their plan well in advance. Thus, a particular puja committee need not wait for a long time at the ghats. The CM appealed for better coordination between the puja committees and administrative bodies.
The Kolkata Police has already detailed the process of immersion procedures to be followed. The puja committees have been asked to provide all the necessary information like date and time of immersion procession and it’s originating point, route to be taken, expected time of completion of immersion etc. For precautionary measures, details like the number of people participating in the procession, presence of band parties, if any, presence of generators, and other important details need to be submitted. Puja committees have to give an undertaking declaring that they will not use loudspeakers or burst firecrackers during the procession.
The KMC also has a huge part to play in the immersion process; they have created temporary bins outside the ghats where all the non-degradable materials, like the potteries and the flowers, are dumped. KMC ensure that after the token immersion of the clay idol, it is promptly picked up using a crane and disposed off. Additional lights have been put up at all ghats. Last year, arrangements for the immersion of idols were made at 13 river ghats. Over 200 volunteers were engaged by the civic body at various locations.
A huge contingent of water police and a squad of divers have been deployed at the immersion centers, ready to intervene if any accidents happen. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), recently launched by the Kolkata Police, will keep an eye on the whole process too.
It is now a wait of another year until Maa Durga comes back to her father’s home, bringing with her more glory for Bengal.