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AT 5 PM on Tuesday, Red Road in Kolkata is set to come alive with award-winning Durga Puja idols taking part in the state government’s grand immersion carnival. As part of the carnival, started last year by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, people will get an opportunity to see around 65 Durga idols — awarded by the government and private entities — to be displayed on trucks. The idols will be taken for immersion after the road show.
Special lights and a gallery for foreign delegates are among the arrangements made by the government for the carnival. Besides the CM and most of her ministers, senior government officials, foreign consulates, foreign tourists and visiting delegates from different countries for the FIFA Under-17 Football World Cup are scheduled to participate in the event, reported PTI.
Wooden galleries decorated with posters of ‘Pujor Bisarjon – Bishes Sovajatra 2017’, have been put up on both sides of Red Road. Last year, 39 puja committees, which had won Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman — presented by the state government — had participated in the carnival.
This year, emphasis has been given to the lighting arrangements in and around Red Road to highlight government projects such as Kanyasree, Sabuj Sathi, Khadya Sathi and Shishu Sathi. Special lights from Chandannagar will be put up at the venue. These lights will also be used on idols in the procession, said an official.
On Monday, senior police and state government officials visited the spot. “Idols from south Kolkata will enter Red Road through Lovers’ Lane and Queensway while north Kolkata pujas will come from CR Avenue,” said a police officer.
While the idols will be accompanied by one police officer each, a maximum of four tableaux and 50 members from one puja committee will be allowed to take part in the parade. “We will not allow more than 50 representatives from each Durga Puja committee along with the idol. Since there are a lot of pujas, we cannot allow unlimited number of people with each idol,” said an official.
While a stage has been set up for the CM and dignitaries at the centre of the venue, seating arrangements have been made for 20,000 people. Last year, arrangements were made to accommodate 10,000 people. Also, giant screens have been installed to help those sitting afar get a clear view of the idols. Sources said quick response teams, watch towers and assistance booths have been stationed at the site. Several CCTV cameras have been installed.
Kolkata Police, meanwhile, will divert certain routes to avoid congestion around the venue during the peak office hours. Traffic on Kidderpore Road, Hastings Crossing, Lovers’ Lane, AJC Bose Road, Mayo Road, R R Avenue and Outram Road might get affected.
“Many did not visit pandals either due to rain or to avoid the crowd. Many also missed as they had office. For such people, this is a grand opportunity,” said a government official.
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Article source: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/award-winning-durgas-to-grace-red-road-today-durga-idol-immersion-4871766/