The Calcutta High Court on Friday said that cash incentives given to the Durga Puja committees by the state government should be used for following COVID-19 protocols, and not for entertainment purposes.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced grants and other incentives for puja organisers a few days back. A petition was filed in the court challenging the government’s decision.

The court instructed 75 per cent of the fund to be used for masks and sanitisers and the remaining 25 per cent to be used for coordinating with the police. Police authorities play a major role in crowd management and this year in particular, the role is significant in ensuring social distancing and to ensure all other COVID-19 protocols are being followed. Organisers have to submit to the government the expenditure break-up. The court has also asked for a blueprint for crowd management and crowd controlling by the state government.

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