However, the impact of the pandemic can be seen in the Puja pandals as the lights and glitz are missing reflecting the lower budgets of the Puja committees this year too.
The budget of one of the most attractive Pujas in the city — Maligaon Kalibari Durga Puja — is just around Rs 4 lakh. “The budget before the pandemic was around Rs 15-Rs16 lakh,” said Amitabh Choudhury, executive member of the committee.
He said, “People are already going through a severe economic crisis due to the pandemic and do not have the capacity to donate now. You cannot demand also. On the other hand, the prevailing Covid-19 situation is also another reason to avoid gatherings. Considering all these things, we have fixed the budget to around Rs 4 lakh and organised the Puja.” Around 25-30% of at least 400 Puja committees organised the Pujas in the city.
Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi has conveyed his greetings to the people of the state on the occasion of Durga Puja.
In a message to the people, the governor said, “Durga Puja marks the eternal essence of victory of good over evil and ushers in hope and a bright future. I hope that the spirit with which the festival is celebrated strengthens the bond of unity to fight against all evils. On this occasion let us all pay our obeisance to Goddess Durga by pledging ourselves to augur an ambience to promote good and eschew evil.” He urged all to celebrate the autumn festival following all the safety guidelines and Covid-appropriate behaviour and pray for the betterment of humanity.
Meanwhile, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “May Maa Durga’s blessings empower all sections of society and strengthen peace, unity and camaraderie while driving away all negative forces.”