Most puja pandals in the city are set to miss out on the chance to hold spectacular fireworks during Ravan Podi this Dussehra.
Following a Supreme Court order restricting the display of fireworks, only two Durga Puja mandaps at Jharpada and Baramunda have been allowed to burn the effigies of the demon king to mark the triumph of good over evil.
Ravan Podi will be held on Tuesday on the occasion of Bijaya Dasami marking the end of the 10-day festivity.
“Altogether 39 puja pandals in the city had submitted applications for conducting Ravan Podi. During the inspection of these puja pandals, it was found that only two mandaps in the city had adhered to the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court,” said DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.
As per norms, a barricade should be put up within a radius of 100 metres of the effigy of Ravan.
“The rider came after more than 100 people died in a mishap during a fireworks show at a temple in Kerala earlier this year,” sources said.
The DCP added, “Though there will be no restriction on Ravan Podi, they cannot have pyrotechnics. However, one or two puja mandaps on the outskirts of the city may be allowed to conduct it with fireworks.”
This has dealt a blow to the puja committees which have been barred from conducting the ritual. Many of them are now trying to come up with something innovative to replace the dazzling event.
“The Ravan Podi at our mandap has been quite popular and draws more than one lakh people every year. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates it every year. In the wake of the SC order, we are thinking of having something new like a laser to pull the crowds,” said the secretary of Saheed Nagar Puja Mandap, Narayan Mohapatra.
Following the cancellation of major Ravan Podi events, both Baramunda and Jharpada puja pandals have been making elaborate arrangements to manage the swelling crowd.
“We are expecting a high footfall this year. More volunteers have been deployed for crowd control, parking of vehicles and to ensure law and order,” said Rama Chandra Ransingh, the president of Baramunda Durga
Puja Committee. The committee has made a 70 feet effigy of Ravan, which will be lit by culture minister Ashok Panda.
Similarly, Jharpada Puja Committee – one of the largest puja committees of the city – has also made elaborate arrangements for Ravan Podi with a 40 ft effigy of the demon king and crackers worth rupees one lakh to be burst on the occasion.
Courtesy: The Times of India