Kolkata:The “City of Joy” is busy enjoying the festive mood with pandals witnessing a massive turnout for pandal hoppers on Maha Shasthi evening. According to pandal organizers the footfalls in pandal increased mainly because of the rain prediction between Ashtami and Dashami. For puja organizers, a large number of revelers visiting the pandals on Monday evening in large numbers was an unusual scene.
The biggest crowd puller this year is Sreebhumi Sporting club, shaped as Burj Khalifa with its lightning show. South and central Kolkata’s puja pandals like Suruchi Sangha, Chetla Agrani, Naktala Udayan Sangha, Bagbazar Sarbojonin, Ahiritola Sarbojanin Kumartuli Sarbojanin also saw a fair turnout.
Sharoni Ghosh, puja reveller said, “I stay in North Kolkata, today evening my friends and I decided that we will be covering South Kolkata major puja pandal like Suruchi Sangha, Chetla Agrani, Singhi park and others because they are saying that from Ashtami it will rain.
Satyajit Ghoshal along with his wife and 3 year old child waited in line for nearly two hours just to catch a glimpse of the lightning show in Sreebhumi Sporting Club, “we have waited in line close to two hours because we wanted to see the lightning of Bhuj Khalifa.
Every year we come to Sreebhumi for their unique themes and the wait is completely worth it. While puja revellers are busy pandal hopping or enjoying meals in restaurants the Kolkata police is busy maintaining smooth movement of traffic, maintaining strict vigil from several watch-towers erected at major Puja pandal premises.
Naka checking is also being done at strategic points and police patrolling vans are on the move round the clock. The police along with pandal organisers and volunteers ensure that puja revellers do not drop their guard at any time and wear masks and ensure physical distance as much as possible.
Kolkata Police’s special all-woman team ‘Winners’ is out on the streets in full force, going from pandal to pandal and keeping a constant eye on possible troublemakers and keeping women visitors at Durga Puja pandals safe from unwanted attention in the form of touching, obscene comments, and other forms of harassment.
The Kolkata Police has decided to deploy commandos of its combat battalion and special striking force at 38 points in the city, the officer said, adding that 31 rapid patrolling teams have also been engaged. Citing terror threats, the West Bengal government has put the police on alert in view of the Durga Puja festivities in the state.
Security has also been beefed up at metro stations, market places, shopping malls, popular monuments and important government offices.