Cuttack: The fanfare marking the farewell to Goddess Durga were missing during the immersion ceremony in Cuttack. It was sombre affair as only puja pandal committees were allowed to take the 4 feet idols for immersion at the designated sites.
As per the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the government, only seven persons of a puja committee can be present in the ceremony. Like other identified places, idol immersion ceremony is going on smoothly at the popular site, Devigada.
“We are very sad as we performed all the rituals of Durga Puja and idol immersion ceremony without public participation. Due to COVID pandemic, there is no excitement among people. We pray and hope to perform all the rituals with public participation from next year,” said Umesh Sahoo, Secretary of Nuabazar Puja Committee.
“There is no enthusiasm of celebrating Dussehra amid COVID restrictions,” said Lingaraj Sahoo, president of Nuapatana Puja Committee. This ceremony will be stopped at 6 pm and remaining idols will be immersed on Sunday, he added.
For security purpose, police personnel have been deployed at six places. Cuttack DCP Prateek Singh visited the artificial pond sites to check the situation.
“We have arranged everything in view of COVID guidelines. For security purpose, 32 platoons of police have been deployed,” said Cuttack DCP Prateek Singh.
The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has identified six places at Devigada, Chahata, riverbed near museum in Jobra, Kartikeswar Gada and Ghatakula for immersion of the idols. As there are about 160 idols in Cuttack, some idols will be immersed on Sunday.