Amid Covid spread, rain dampens Durga Puja spirit in NE
Guwahati/Agartala, Oct. 23 (IANS): Amid Covid-19 spread, the five-day long Durga Puja festivity was dampened by rain across the northeastern region.
The pandemic has restricted not just gatherings and movement but also the passion and zeal in which the Puja is celebrated everyear.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, the unseasonal rain was caused by the depression in the Bay of Bengal. According to the predictions and warnings of the IMD, eight northeastern states, including Assam, Tripura, Manipur, and Meghalaya, where the Durga Puja is one of the major annual festivals, would receive light to moderate rainfall till October 24.
The Guwahati based Regional Meteorological Centre of the IMD has also forecast heavy rainfall and squally wind conditions in certain places.
“The well marked low pressure area over West-Central Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood is very likely to intensify further into a deep depression during next 24 hours. It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh coast as a deep depression between Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Khepupara (Bangladesh) by Friday afternoon,” the IMD said.
It will be a wet Durga Puja for entire northeast India as the IMD has predicted the rainfall till the forenoon of Saturday. As per the data accumulated by different authorities including police, this year around 30 per cent less Durga Puja being held in the eight northeastern states due to Covid-19.
In Guwahati and other places of Assam, Durga Puja is being held in a very low-key manner. The Assam government has imposed strict guidelines for all community puja and public to prevent further spread of infection of the coronavirus.
In Tripura, around 2,000 community pujas, down from 2,500 last year, are being organised across the state.
West Tripura District Magistrate Shailesh Yadav said, as a preventive measure, the night curfew has been lifted to avoid larger crowds during non-curfew time.
Besides Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who also holds the Health Department, Director of Health Services Subhasis Debbarma made appeal to all to follow Covid protocol and enjoy Puja staying at home.
In Meghalaya, after some ethnic development, the Durga puja celebrations started in Shillong and different other places, while the mountainous capital city wore a normal look with many people coming out in large numbers for their daily activities.
The Police Bazar, main commercial hub of Shillong, also demonstrated that the situation was completely normal and people were busy with their usual routine in festive mood.
The recent incident of putting banners against the non-tribals in the city had created tension as the incident happened just couple of days ahead of Durga puja celebrations.
The police removed the banners and posters against the Bengali speaking people and warned to take stern action against those who disturb the ethnic harmony.