From Staff Correspondent
Shillong, Sept 21: The State Capital is all set to host the annual Durga Puja festivity in its full splendor once again. Community puja committees in the city are pulling out all stops to make the celebrations truly memorable this year.
There will be 64 community Dura Puja mandaps In the Capital city this time, while nine pujas will be organised privately. Altogether, 231 community puja are being organised in the State this year.
Besides the conventiol puja celebrations, a major attraction for everyone is rtiang in West Jaintia Hills. During the Durga Puja, the place sees a unique blend of Hinduism and indigeneous Khasi-Jaintia faith. It has unique blend of mythological with the divine.
However, the major concern will be to be able to accommodate the thousands of tourists who throng the State Capital during the puja season. Last year, there were virtually no hotels and lodges that could accommodate the surge in the number of visitors.
Meanwhile, among the committees working overtime in the city, the me of Shillong Central Puja Committee (CPC), which is marking its 25 anniversary, stands out. It is making elaborate arrangements to organise a variety of programmes to coincide with its silver jubilee celebrations
CPC functiory JL Das admitted about the huge inflow of tourists last year and the probable increase this year due to the problems in Darjeeling.
“We can do scarce little to deal with this problem, but hopefully the lodges in the fringes of Shillong will play a major role in accommodating the tourists in a way that will help the tourism industry and the economy,” he said.
Moreover, the CPC is also planning to live up with its “swachh” puja to ensure a pollution-free festival.
“Almost 90% of the Durga idols are coloured with non-toxic vegetable-based dyes,” said CPC president ba Bhattacharjee, adding that this has also led to over 30% increase in the prices of the idols.
“The CPC is concerned with the environment and it undertakes pre and post-puja cleaning of the lone immersion ghat in the city located on the banks of the Umkhrah river at Polo every year,” pointed out Bhattacharjee, who himself is an environment activist.
Meanwhile, in order to ease traffic congestion in the city during the Durga Puja celebrations, when movement of vehicles and people in large numbers is expected, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (ER) has imposed restrictions on the movement of trucks from September 27 to October 1.