Keeping in mind the risks of COVID-19, big-budget Durga Puja committees in Kolkata has decided not to celebrate the festival in a grand manner.
This year, due to COVID-19, there is a lot of uncertainties about how many people will come out for the festival and maintaining social distancing and sanitization on such a large scale will be very difficult. This is why members of big-budget puja committees have decided against celebrating in a grand manner. The demand for power supply will be less due to this, West Bengal Power Minister Sovandeb Chatterjee said.
He further said there was a surplus of power, and without demand from major puja committees, losses would continue.
Every year before Durga Puja, we hold a meeting to evaluate how much electricity usage will be required. Already due to the COVID-19 situation, we are running at a loss of ₹2,500 crores. The power department is ready to provide electricity and have a surplus, but since puja will not be taking place on a large scale, there is no foreseeable solution. Lightning arrangements and decorations will not be as elaborate as the previous years, so there won’t be an increase in demand, Chatterjee said.
Earlier in September, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that organizing cultural programmes at pandals won’t be allowed during the festival.