With Dusshera at the doorsteps, a flurry of activity has begun at the commercial hub of the Steel City which has traditionally been known for lavish and innovative pandal decorations.
Central Puja Committee (CPC) sources said pandals would be erected at over 100 places of which at least 25 per cent organisers are known for spending extravagantly on decoration and illumination.
In fact, the puja committees vie with each other over flashy decorations and money has never been a constraint with the budget stretching from ` 7 to 10 lakh.
It is learnt, over 2,000 hired artisans, majority of them from West Bengal, are busy erecting bamboo structures for the last few days. Subsequently, a few hundreds more trained hands would join them to give finishing touches. Significantly, they are capable of replicating anything under the sun.
Sector-1 Old puja committee functionary Muktikanta Behera said around 30 artisans from Digha in West Bengal are busy in the preliminary work to replicate Indian Parliament, adding that 10 more would join them soon.
Similarly, bamboos have been stacked at Sector-2 for a replica of Karnataka Assembly. CPC functionary Chodhary Bijay Patnaik claimed that in terms of glitzy and innovative pandal works, the city is ahead of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in Odisha and just behind Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.
While the Durga idols in sector areas depict ‘oriental and classical’ styles, at Bondamunda and Railway Colony, these are inevitably conventional, which set them apart among the lot, he added.