CUTTACK, SEPT 11, 2021
The Cuttack Mahanagar Shanti Committee and Puja Committees on Saturday have decided to urge the State government to reconsider their demands for relaxation of restriction on the height of idols of Goddess Durga and conduct of the rituals behind the curtain.
Members of both the committees unanimously decided to request Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to reconsider their demands and allow them to go for constructing idols with usual height and celebrating the puja uncovering the front of the puja pandals to facilitate darshan of Goddess with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, said Cuttack Mahanagar Shanti Committee President Debendra Sahu.
“As per the decision, a delegation of Mahanagar Shanti Committee and Puja Committees led by Cuttack MP Bhartuhari Mahatab will meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and request him to reconsider their demand by September 16. If there will be no positive outcome, then the Cuttack Mahanagar Shanti Committee and Puja Committees will hold a meeting on September 17 to discuss further course of action on the issue,” said Sahu.
The delegation of Cuttack’s puja committees had impressed upon Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra and Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena that the height of the idol of the Goddess in no way contributes to the rise in the COVID cases.
“After holding the discussion, we had expected a positive outcome from the meeting and had briefed the media accordingly. But now we cannot understand the reason behind capping the height of the idol at less than 4 feet,” he said.
The ornaments prepared for the Goddess would not fit to the 4-ft idols. Besides, the strict restrictions on conduct of the rituals have deeply hurt the people’s religious sentiments, he said.
The discontentment brewing over the issue is not confined to Mahanagar Shanti Committee or Puja committees only. Several civil societies have been hitting the streets demanding relaxation in restrictions on celebrating Durga Puja in the city, Sahu added.
Notably, with the government ruling out any change in the 4-ft cap on idol height, the Cuttack Mahanagar Shanti committees and Puja committees have called for an urgent meeting on Saturday evening.
Among others, Cuttack MP Bhartuhari Mahatab and former BJD MLA and Cuttack Mahanagar Puja Committee Secretary Pravat Tripathy were present in the meeting.