“No Entry” into Durga Puja pandals order partially eased by High Court; here’s what is allowed

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday partially eased its earlier order stating Durga Puja pandals were to be “No Entry” zones in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. The court allowed entry of upto 45 organisers within a pandal at a time and dhakis are also to be allowed to perform within the barricaded area. However, for the ordinary visitors, the pandals would remain “No Entry” zones.

Nearly 400 top Durga Puja organisers in Kolkata moved Calcutta High Court on Tuesday to seek review of the order under the banner, Durgotsav Forum. The hearing was scheduled for Wednesday. Only 25 persons were to be allowed for bigger Pujas and 15 persons for smaller Pujas as per the earlier order. The earlier order also mentioned that visitors could go up to 5 metre for smaller Pujas and 10 metre close to bigger pandals.

However, as per the relaxed order of Wednesday, the list of organisers allowed entry could be fixed on a daily basis. The list is to be displayed every day at 8 am. The larger pandals – which have area over 300 sq.m, can have up to 60 organisers inside (45 at a given point of time) and smaller pujas can have up to 15 organisers at a time. No order was passed on “Anjali” – the ritual of floral offering to the idols, nor was permission granted for shindur khela.

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