A day before Durga Puja festival, the Calcutta High Court has eased its order and allowed entry of up to 45 people at a time in a pandal. However, the court upheld its ban on assembly of people inside pandals for rituals like Pushpanjali and Sindoor Khela.
Earlier, the Calcutta HC had declared Durga Puja pandals "no-entry zone" for visitors due to COVUD-19 pandemic. Subsequently, at least 400 pandal organisers appealed the court to review order. The organisers approached the court as part of Durgotsab Forum-an umbrella body of Durga Puja organisers. Thereafter, the court eased the restriction.
Additionally, the HC has also allowed drummers (Dhakis) to perform within outside the no-entry zone at each pandal.
On Monday, the High Court had said that only organisers would be allowed inside pandals, capping the count at 25 for bigger pandals and 15 for the smaller ones. The court also asked organisers to put up barricades outside pandals -- five meters from the entrance for smaller celebrations and double that for the bigger ones. The court added that a list of such organisers will have to be displayed outside pandals by 8 am on puja days, and the list can be changed keeping the occupancy limit in mind.
The five-day Durga Puja festival will begin on October 22.
West Bengal has reported 3,29,057 COVID-19 cases and 6,180 deaths from the viral disease so far. The state currently has 35,170 active cases, while 2,87,707 people have recovered from the disease.