Kolkata: The festival of Durga Puja is always a big deal in West Bengal. This time it is getting bigger. While the festivities officially begin on October 1, the celebrations in the state will start on September 1 as the Trinamool Congress government will organise a big thanksgiving rally for UNESCO which has given a heritage tag to the festival.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee herself will walk in that rally. UNESCO representatives have also been invited to the programme. On August 22, the chief minister will hold a meeting with the police, administration, and puja committees of Kolkata on the preparations. She will also, for the first time, virtually speak to the puja committees in various districts.
Durga Puja has not been celebrated in a grand way in Bengal for the last two years because of restrictions put in place because of Covid. Since protocols have been eased this time, the administration is planning a mega celebration.
Durga Puja is held in over 20,000 places in West Bengal. Each year, the state government provides donations to the puja organising clubs and plans to do that this year as well. Artists and sculptors in Kolkata’s Kumartuli area where the idols are prepared are gearing up as this year they have received more orders compared to the previous two.