KOLKATA: The crowd-puller Durga Puja at Mohammad Ali Park will be shifted to a nearby fire station this year due to the dilapidated condition of a British-era reservoir underneath the park, a puja committee member said on Wednesday.
The decision to shift the city's iconic puja from its venue, since 1969, was taken by Fire and Emergency Services Minister Sujit Bose keeping in mind the safety of revellers visiting the park during the festivities, he said. "Mayor Firhad Hakim had informed the puja organisers that experts from Jadavpur University have declared the reservoir unsafe and warned against holding any public event in the park till the repair is done. The Mayor requested us to choose an alternative venue this year," he said.
Bose visited the Central Avenue Fire Station along with puja organisers on Tuesday and approved the new location, he said. The committee member said that the puja used to be held at the fire station before 1969. "We did not want Mohammad Ali Park Durga Puja to be halted this year due to unavailibity of the park. But the organisers must adhere to the safety guidelines in the new venue," Bose said.
The minister said that Fire Services will ensure that the organisers keep space for free movement of fire tenders. Puja Committee general secretary Surendra Kumar Sharma said that the organisers will start erecting the canopy at the new venue by the end of this week.