After Durga Puja, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday restricted visitors from entering the pandas for Kali Puja and Jagadhatri Puja. After hearing a PIL filed by an environmentalist, the division bench consisting of Justice Rajasekhara Mantha and Justice Kesang Doma Bhutia directed all necessary measures to prevent crowds from entering the pandas. Warning police to be more careful with the crowd, the court urged the police and administration to be more proactive so that the crowd can be restricted before entering the pandas.
“During Durga Puja there was a huge rush of visitors and this led to an increase in Covid infections,” he said. Judge Mantha said, referring to his personal experience: “It is difficult to stop people at festivals like Sabarimala, Jalikattu, Durga Puja. My colleagues were also held for two to three hours because of the Durga pandal ‘Burj Khalifa’. The same thing happened in Deshapriya Parking several years ago.”
The bench was referring to the crowd during Durga Puja, when people enthusiastically crowded the city with various puja pandas despite the order of the High Court. The court ordered the administration to take care of the crowd as they controlled them during kali puja last year.
In a separate order, the High Court cited the Supreme Court ruling, allowing to pop “green crackers” for two hours between 8:00 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Previously the sale and use of crackers in the state was entirely banned, but the Supreme Court allowed usage of green crackers on Tuesday, prompting a high court bench to allow organic crackers, providing relief to business owners.