Durga Puja celebrations likely to be low key in Siliguri this year due to COVID-19 pandemic

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Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], September 30 (ANI): Durga Puja celebrations are likely to be low key in Siliguri this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The West Bengal government has allotted Rs 50,000 to every Puja organiser, which has come as a huge relief for the organisers.

Speaking to ANI, the Secretary of Suryanagar Friends Union, Siliguri, Madan Bhattacharya said, "Due to the 2nd Wave in the country, the organisation of Puja has become tough because there has been no advertisement, no collection from the public, or any other financial support. Though the assistance of Rs 50,000 by the West Bengal government is a help, the crunch persists. Therefore, we had to reduce our budget."

In this situation, the organisers have kept their faith in Goddess Durga to save mankind from the coronavirus.

Speaking to ANI, the committee member of Dadabhai Sporting Club, Siliguri, Rathin Dey said, "The situation of COVID-19 was alarming the last time. The earlier budget of Rs 25 lakh shrank to one-fourth. This time the budget shrank to Rs 6 lakh only."

He further said that they have received advertisements but the crunch still continues. The artisans and pandals have been hired keeping the low budget in mind.

However, he hoped that the Puja could be celebrated like before the next time.

"If the people support, the organisation will be huge again from next year," he said.

It is to be noted that there are 618 Puja organisations every year in Siliguri. Many people from neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh visit Siliguri to celebrate the Durga puja festival. (ANI)

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