After the Calcutta High Court ordered a ban on visitors’ entry to pandals, Kolkata witnessed a low turnout on Panchami.
Usually from Panchami, the pandal-hoppers swarm the streets from north to south, leading to huge traffic jams in several parts of the city. But this time, the roads were less congested.
Last year, the Kolkata Police had tough time controlling crowds specially outside big puja pandals on Panchami. However, this time people are refraining from visiting puja pandals.
“The Panchami crowd is not even 50 per cent in comparison to last year,” said a policeman who is on duty outside a puja pandal in north Kolkata on Wednesday.
Rahul Banerjee, an engineer who came to Kolkata during Durga Puja after four years, said: “I had decided to visit puja pandals on Saptami and Ashtami. But now that we will not be allowed to enter the pandals, we will stay at home. I will celebrate Puja with good food.”
However, Kolkata Police is happy with the low turnout. Nearly 2,500 Kolkata Police personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 and over 10 of them have succumbed. “All arrangements are in place. Puja must be celebrated, but responsibly. Low turnout this year is good for the society as a whole,” said another police officer.
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