Guwahati, October 20 : In 2017, Gauwahati's Bishnupur Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee created a record of sorts by making a 101-foot idol of the Goddess with bamboos.
Three years on, the Durga idol has become much smaller, so has the pandal, which will allow fewer people, going by the COVID-19 restrictions. A standard operating procedure has been released by the Ministry of Home Affairs for conducting events during the festivities, which includes adhering to strict COVID-19 protocols like sanitisation, use of masks and social distancing in public gatherings.
"The Durga idol and pandal have become smaller than other years as fewer people would visit. Earlier it used to cost us lakhs of rupees to conduct a Durga Puja, which is no longer the case, as expenses have been curbed. We have not got any support from the market. Only we, the committee members, are engaged in the preparations," Sujit Das, a member of the Bishnupur Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee, said.
"We are not organising a big-budget puja this year due to the COVID-19. Following the government guidelines, we will spread awareness about a COVID-appropriate behaviour," Devashish Das, Secretary of the Bishnupur Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee, told ANI.