Cuttack: The Covid-19 pandemic has derailed the College Square Durga Puja Committee’s plan to have a silver tableau for this year’s Dussehra celebrations.
The puja panel had planned for a silver tableau for the worship of clay idol of Goddess Durga immediately after the completion of last year’s Dussehra. Its panel had hired several filigree artisans from Sheikh Bazar area to design the silver tableau and procured 3.5 quintals of silver for the purpose.
According to sources, around 75 per cent work for the silver tableau was completed by March this year. “The tableau work was stopped during the countrywide lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic. There is much uncertainty with regard to the organisation of this year’s Dussehra in a grand way. We will wait for the next year to enter into the coveted list of puja committees having their silver tableaux,” said an office-bearer of College Square Puja Committee.
Committee sources said they have planned to begin process for shaping a clay idol of Goddess Durga August 30. “No final decision has been taken on the issue. We may shape a comparatively small idol for this year’s Dussehra,” he said.
The puja committee, meanwhile, has decided not to accept any donation from traders and shopkeepers of the locality. “The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have broken the financial backbone of people. We will not accept donation from the shopkeepers,” said the puja panel.
Notably, College Square Puja Committee has been organising Dussehra since 1962. Initially, it was worshiping the clay idols of Hara-Parvati during Dussehra. But, the worship of Devi Durga’s clay idol at College Square puja mandap started around 35 years ago.
“The Mahanagar Shanti Committee is yet to announce its final decision on organisation of this year’s Dussehra. The committee will soon convene a meeting to deliberate on the issue and take a final call,” said College Square Puja panel president Uttam Behera.
Committee secretary Jagannath Sahu said they have decided to organise the Durga puja in a simple manner due to the pandemic. “When the whole world is fighting the deadly virus, how can we opt for a lavish puja?” he said.
It is worth mentioning here that as many as 28 puja panels in the city have already designed their silver tableaux over the years.