Grand and illuminating puja pandals with dazzling lights, gigantic gates and huge tableaus are all set for the five-day Durga Puja festival to begin from Tuesday. The festive fever has gripped the city as markets are witnessing heavy rush with people are busy in last-minute shopping.
Shoppers in large numbers are thronging markets and malls in the city leading to severe traffic jam on the roads. To ensure smooth traffic movement on city roads the commissionerate police have issued an advisory and would impose restriction on vehicular movement from September 26 to October 1. No heavy vehicles will be allowed to ply on major roads including Khandagiri to Pokhariput via Jagamara and Gandamunda, Fire training school to Sishubhawan, Jaydev Vihar to Nandankanan, Acharya Vihar to New Airport via AG Square, Vani VIhar to Sishubhawan, Rasulgarh to Lingipur and both side service roads from Baramunda to Palasuni.
Passenger buses from Puri to Bhubaneswar will be allowed to ply from Lingipur to Baramunda via Kalpana, Rajmahal and Sishu Bhawan square. Penalty up to Rs 1000 may be imposed on violators, police sources said.
Puja Committees Rope in Volunteers
Expecting heavy rush of pandal hoppers from Sasthi that falls on Tuesday puja committees have also planned to engage volunteers and installed CCTV cameras.
“We have around 100 volunteers to regulate traffic and crowd during pick hours. Besides, over 50 CCTV cameras are installed to keep an eye on mischief makers in the crowd,” said Sridhar Jena, convenor of Jharpada Durga Puja Committee. The committee has built a replica of a railway station with real-life feelings of seas, air-conditioners, chai wala, coolie and ticket collectors.
Similarly Nayapalli Durga Puja Committee, one of the major attractions of the city has added Ramlilla competition this year along with cultural programme, Raban Podi, and immersion procession will be organised by the committee.
“Final touches have been given to the puja preparations. Like previous years we have made all attempts to make this year’s Durga Puja a memorable experience for visitors,” said president of the committee, Pabitra Mohan Behera.
172 Durja Puja Pandals in the City
As many as 172 Durga Puja pandals have come up in the capital city including at Rasulgarh, Baramunda, Saheed Nagar, Bomikhal, Laxmi Sagar, Old Station Bazaar, Ashok Nagar, VSS Nagar, Palasuni, Patia, Damana, Sailashree Vihar and Niladri Vihar.
Light Rain Likely
Durga puja this year will be relatively wet as the weatherman has predicted light to moderate rain across the state from Wednesday.
“Most parts of Odisha will witness light to moderate rain from September 27 to October 1. One or two places in the state may have heavy rain. A cyclonic circulation over the west central Bay of Bengal will cause rain, which may intensify into a low pressure area,” said director of IMD’s Bhubaneswar Centre, Sarat Chandra Sahu.
However, the rain forecast is unlikely to deter the festive spirit among revellers.
“We wait for a whole year for Durga Puja, which is the biggest festival. We do everything to make the festival memorable and enjoy every bit of it. Starting from new clothes to jewellery, good food, pandal hopping, visiting dandiya nights and get together of friends and relatives, we have planned for all. We are in no mood to change our plans be it rain or sun,” said Supriya Mishra, a college student.
Courtesy: The Times of India