CUTTACK: With Dussera round the corner, the hostile weather condition has become a concern for organisers of different Puja Committees here as incessant rains continue to lash the Millennium City.
The hostile weather has proved to be a deterrent for artisans to make idols of Goddess Durga and Lord Hara-Parbati while organisers are finding it difficult to prepare for the Puja amid showers across the city.
What has worried the Puja organisers is the downpour which is lashing the city for the last five days. The prediction of more showers till September 29 has made matters worse.
This year, Durga Puja is being celebrated in 156 Puja Mandaps in the city. Members of different Puja Committees say incessant rain has hindered the progress of erection of welcome gates and other decoration works besides affecting the progress of idol making.
Generally, each committees spend nearly around `8 lakh to `10 lakh towards setting up gigantic welcome arches which are the main attraction during the Puja. “Due to incessant rain, construction work of welcome arches is moving at a snail’s pace. It is not safe for labourers to climb the slippery bamboo structures,” said secretary of Khan Nagar Puja Committee Prafulla Sahoo.
This year, Khan Nagar Puja Committee is erecting an exquisite welcome arch by making a replica of Tiger Hill and a special Saheed Manch to pay tribute to Indian soldiers martyred in Jammu and Kashmir, Sahoo said.
“By this time, more than 50 per cent of the welcome arch should have been completed. But only 30 per cent of the construction work has been over so far,” he added.
Similarly, though Chhatra Bazaar Puja Committee had decided to erect a light gate, work on it is yet to start due to rain, said its president Debendra Sahu.
Chauliaganj Puja Committee secretary Niranjan Sahu said, “Due to bad weather, it is not possible to apply additional layers of clay to the structure of idols and we are waiting till these become dry.”
If such weather continues, the Puja organisers will be compelled to adopt alternative measures like using of halogen lights, blowers and burning of wood to dry the idols, Sahu added.