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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Durga Puja: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee makes U-turn on event ban

“We have allowed gatherings of 100 people if all Covid-19 protocols are followed. If you get bigger spaces, you can also allow gathering of 200 people but do not organise such programmes near Puja pandals," the Bengal Chief Minister said.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: October 15, 2020 7:38:17 am
Mamata Banerjee, Bengal CM, Durga pujo cultural event ban, Kolkata news, Bengal news, Indian express newsBengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday announced a reversal of her government’s decision to ban cultural programmes during Durga Puja, and said such events could be organised at open spaces or in halls if all health protocols were followed.

“We have allowed gatherings of 100 people if all Covid-19 protocols are followed. If you get bigger spaces, you can also allow gathering of 200 people but do not organise such programmes near Puja pandals. Then it will be difficult for the police as well as the puja committee to handle the crowd,” the Chief Minister said at an event where she unveiled two double-decker tourist buses.

Banerjee told the police to be a “bit flexible” since artists are without jobs amid the pandemic. “Where there are options to organise a small cultural programme with 150 people and that will not create any problem and not spread the disease, we do not have any problem,” she added.

Banerjee again urged people to follow health protocols during Durga Puja. “Please wear masks to protect yourself. Sanitise your hands properly and always try to maintain physical distancing to combat the spread of the disease,” she said.

The Chief Minister announced that Amazon had established a logistics hub in the Uluberia industrial park in Howrah district. “We have started the new Amazon logistics hub. From here they will work for east and north east direct, and indirectly a total of 20,050 people will be employed. This is a big thing happening in West Bengal. This will generate huge employment in this area and I am hopeful that more and more logistics hubs will come and invest,” Banerjee said.

Lauding her administration for introducing the double-decker buses, the Chief Minister said, “I will also thank the tourism department for introducing the double-decker bus service, which will operate twice a week.”

The buses will provide a tour of the heritage and cultural spots of Kolkata. Visitors will also get to enjoy a boat ride on the Ganges. The services can be booked on the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation website from October 23.

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