Community leaders, administrative officials and organizers have been asked to follow proper health regulations to prevent Covid-19 transmission
With Durga Puja just around the corner, preparations are going on in full swing in Tangail, Manikganj, and Barisal districts to celebrate the Hindu community’s biggest festival.
The festival will begin from October 22 and will come to an end on October 26. The 5-day long festival of the community will begin with due respect and religious fervour through the immersion of idols at different water bodies including ponds, canals, and rivers.
A number of massive pandals are being set up for puja celebrations in Tangail, Manikganj and Barisal districts. Artisans are passing a very busy time in giving the final shape to idols of Goddess Durga and demon king Mahishasur round the clock in the districts.
Community leaders, administrative officials, and organizers have been asked to ensure proper health regulations to prevent Covid-19 transmission.
In Tangail, Durga Puja will be celebrated in 1032 temples in 12 upazilas with 189 in Sadar, 21 in Dhanbari, 48 in Modhupur, 37 in Bhuapur, 40 in Gopalpur, 44 in Ghatail, 134 in Kalihati, 121 in Delduar, 120 in Nagarpur, 209 in Mirzapur, 40 in Basail and 29 in Shakhipur.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Pradeep Kumar Jhantu, general secretary of the district’s Puja Celebration Committee, said the number of puja mandaps might increase by two or one.
Proper health regulations will be maintained; using hand sanitizers and donning masks are compulsory at every puja mandap. Besides, law enforcement agencies along with members of Ansar will be deployed for ensuring security.
Apart from that, a number of volunteers will remain in the puja mandap to help law enforcement agencies maintain law and order situation, added Pradeep Kumar Jhantu.
Meanwhile, Shahinul Islam, superintendent of police (SP) and the media focal point of district police in Tangail, said the required number of police personnel will be working to ensure peaceful Durga Puja in the district. “Mobile patrol teams and police in plainclothes will also be deployed to avoid any untoward situation,” he added.
In Manikganj, 463 mandaps are being set up to celebrate the Hindu community’s biggest festival in the district’s seven upazilas namely Sadar, Saturia, Ghior, Shibaloy, Singair, Harirampur, and Daulatpur upazilas.
A total of 82 mandaps are being readied in Shibaloy upazila, with 92 in Sadar, 62 in Singair, 60 in Saturia upazila, 65 in Ghior, 38 in Daulatpur, and 59 in Harirampur upazilas.
During a visit to different puja mandaps in the district it was seen that the artisans (Malarkars) are passing their busy times with painting and other necessary works to make the idols very attractive and nice looking to the devotees and the visitors. Some artisans have been shaping the idols at mandaps, while some of the artisans are working from home.
Clay artisan Shudhangshu Pal, who is making the Durga idol in Harirampur upazila’s Lauta Bazar Puja Mandap (temple), said he has been making idols for Lauta Bazar Puja Mandap for 12 years.
Narayan Pal at Gopinathpur village said he was making idols for seven mandaps. The price of materials needed to make idols have spiked this year, especially hay used for Durga idols’ framework.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Manikganj Puja Celebration Committee General Secretary Anirban Pal said, due to Covid-19, the number of puja mandaps have decreased this year.
This year, sound boxes, excess decoration, and cultural programs including art competitions and fairs will not be arranged at puja mandaps.
A total of 26 necessary instructions have already been sent to the organizers, he added.
Speaking on the Durga Puja celebrations, Deputy Commissioner (DC) SM Ferdous said: “Social distancing will be maintained strictly at every puja mandap in the district because of Covid-19. Visitors, devotees and purohits (priests) have to wear masks. Fireworks cannot be celebrated.”
In Barisal, a total of 617 mandaps are being prepared to celebrate the “Sharodiya Durga Utsab,” the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community in different upazilas and city corporation areas.
Among the mandaps , 157 in Agoiljhara, 110 in Wazirpur, 80 in Gournadi, 72 in Bakerganj, 59 in Banaripara, 24 in Mehendiganj, 24 in Babuganj, 15 in Hizla, and 12 in Muladi upazilas of district.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, idol makers said the price of raw materials including straw, bamboos, cloths, ropes, and colours used for making the idols have increased by 10 to 20 percent compared to last year, said the idol makers and the festival management committees of different puja mandaps.
Barisal Deputy Commissioner SM Ajiar Rahman, said the administration will allot special financial grants for puja mandaps while special security, undisrupted electricity and water supply, traffic control arrangements would be ensured for the convenience of worshippers and visitors during the festival.