Bhubaneswar/Cuttack/Puri: Heavy rains induced by a cyclonic circulation affected the immersion of idols of Goddess Durga in the coastal districts of Odisha Thursday, including in Cuttack and the capital city of Bhubaneswar.
The ritual was postponed by a day in the pilgrim town of Puri due to the heavy rains, officials said.
The puja organisers had a tough time completing the ritual as the heavy rains led to water logging in many areas of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack so much so that out of the 350 idols in the two cities less than 70 idols could be immersed in the artificial tanks created by the administration by 8 PM.
The state government has banned immersion of idols in rivers and other natural bodies to check water pollution and instructed the local administration to create artificial tanks in river banks for the purpose.
Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has created three artificial ponds on the banks of Kuakhai and Daya rivers, while the Cuttack Municipal Corporation has dug one at Devigada on the bank of Kathajodi river.
The people did not leave their homes to watch the immersion processions as in the previous years. In some places, the puja organisers even wrapped the idols of the goddess in polythene sheets to protect them from the rain water before their immersion.
Police commissioner Soumendra Priyadarshi said adequate security arrangements have been made and over 300 CCTV cameras were fitted in the twin cities to keep a watch on the immersion processions.
Cuttack recorded the highest 62.6 mm of rainfall and Bhubaneswar 49.3 mm between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm on Thursday, the Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar said.
“Though the coastal districts experienced light to moderate rainfall in the forenoon, the intensity increased in the afternoon and threw life out of gear in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar,” said senior scientist Umashakar Dash.
The low pressure weakened by Wednesday, but the cyclonic circulation along with the activation of monsoon caused widespread rains in Odisha, the weatherman said.