Flood, communal violence dampen Durga puja spirit in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 8 (UNI) The devastating flood that wrought havoc in 19 of the 30 districts of the state and the violence in Kandhamal distrct has dampened the spirit of the Durga puja in Orissa this year.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who used to visit the Puja pandals in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, decided not to participate in Dusshera celebration in view of the recent floods and violence in Kandhamal.

The usual rush that marked the festival was missing this time as the people were busy in repair and resettlement having little time and resources to join in merry making.

But despite the tragedy around 122 puja pandals at Bhubaneswar and more than 152 puja pandals in Cuttack have come up with most of them theme based.

In Bhubaneswar the station square Puja Committee showcased the scene of Bollywood block buster Sholay with the hills in the background and life size characters of Basanti, Gabbar Singh and Veeru carved out of thermocol.

While the entrance gate of Rasulgarha Puja pandal tried to recreate the famous Tirupati temple, the Nayapalli Puja pandal showcased the Victoria memorial hall of Kolkata.

In Cuttack where the Duga Puja was being celebrated for more than six hundred years, the organisers have given more importance to light decoration.

Out of the total 152 Puja pandals as many as eleven Puja Pandals have silver tableaux and the Chandni Chowk Puja Pandal has gold crown ornaments for the deities.

The police have made adequate security arrangements for the smooth celebrations of the Puja in view of the communal violence and bomb blasts in various places of the country.

The police have directed all the Puja Committees, especially those who have silver tableaux, to install CCTVs in their puja pandals. CCTVs were also installed in some strategic points to keep a tab on the mischief mongers.

In Kandhamal the authorities relaxed the prohibitory order imposed under section 144 CrPc to enable people to celebrate the Durga puja.

Reports of celebration of Durga puja also came from all parts of the state but the fervour and enthusiasm was missing.

UNI BD DPM DB1621

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