Guwahati: This year, Assam has been witnessing a very toned-down celebration of the Durga Puja, unlike the previous years. The usual pomp and show of the religious festival appear to be missing this season.
The state authorities gave a green signal to organizers of the puja, provided proper COVID-19 guidelines were being followed. The citizens of Guwahati have gone pandal-hopping despite fears of the virus still lurking in the background.
However, the puja pandals which used to be the talk of the town in the past years due to their varying themes had decided to opt for the subtle way this year.
In addition, the government has ordered that the Durga idols must not be taller than 5 feet.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused a huge blow to the budget of the puja organisers.
One of Guwahati's largest puja committees, the Latasil Sarbajanin Durga Puja, which hosts grand themed puja pandals said that they did not collect enough money this year to go for a theme this year.
The Maligaon Kalibari Durga Puja also said that they could collect only Rs 4-5 lakhs this year, whereas the budget would would go up to Rs 15-16 lakhs in the pre-pandemic years.
The Bishnupur Durga Puja Pandal has used the theme of COVID 19 as its design in a bid to spread awareness about the virus.
The pandemic has also caused a surge in the prices of the goods, burning a hole in the pockets of regular citizens.