Agartala, Oct 15: The last minute puja shoppers and thousands of pandal hoppers thronged into the street last night – a day ahead of formal beginning of Durga Puja in Tripura.
Most of the puja pandals were opened for the visitors on Sunday though the last minute touch in the Goddess Durga is still not completed.
Since weather forecast has indicated rain during puja in most parts of Tripura, people did not want to miss the chance to visit pandals in moonlit evening. The police authority was not prepared for such a big crowd on Panchami night and as a result, in late evening armed force personnel were deployed to manage the traffic on the street.
All major cities like Dharmanagar, Udaipur, Belonia, Ambassa and Kumarghat besides, Agartala have been illuminated with colourful lighting immediately after Mahalaya for which Tripura State Electricity Corporation has been managing 300 MW power to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply for the puja organisers.
Puja shopping was also witnessed an unprecedented crowd for past three-four days in Agartala. Many established shopkeepers who stocked the materials to cover business up to Diwali celebration, have been almost exhausted by now, said Dilip Saha, a member of Tripura Cloth Merchant Association.
“The market was down for past six months and as a result, we have not brought the stock much. After online shopping options and opening of malls, the cloths and cosmetic business have gone down substantially in last few years but in last one week it was gone up. Many of the merchants put fresh order for Diwali now,” Saha said.
However, big budget pujas of Agartala like Shantipara, Netaji Play Centre, Central Road Yuba Sangstha, Chittaranjan club and Ushabazar Bharat Ratna Sangha have been opened for the visitors last evening.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and most of his cabinet colleagues were seen visiting the puja pandals. Meanwhile, police said elaborate security arrangements are being made to ensure peaceful observance of the festival of Durga Puja and although there is no specific threat, the state police establishment is leaving no stone unturned to ensure peaceful celebrations of Durga puja.
At least 2547 community pujas have been organised this year in the state, which was 2436 in last year. This includes 958 Durga pujas in urban areas and 1569 in rural areas,.
Altogether 148 Police Assistance booths will be set up, besides 96 watch towers are being constructed in all critical locations across the state. Apart from five drop-gates in all entry and exit points to and from Agartala city, 38 more drop-gates will be set up in and around Agartala with three types of communication set up, DGP A K Shukla said.
Altogether 229 CCTV cameras were installed across the state including in some puja pandals. The organizers of puja committees especially, where big pandals has been constructed have been requested to installed CCTV cameras in and around their puja pandals.UNI