Organisers in a fix over housing ‘world’s tallest Durga idol’

Kolkata, Oct 24 (IANS) The Durga Puja organisers who put up the “world’s tallest Durga idol” here are now in fix. With the festival at its fag end, the Deshapriya Park Puja committee members are hunting for the ideal location to house the 88-foot-high exhibit.

The highly-publicised cement and fibre glass Durga had been at the centre of a controversy in the eastern metropolis which is decked up with around 3,000-odd installations each year during the Puja.

Such was the buzz surrounding the idol that on October 18, a day ahead of the Durga Puja, a stampede-like situation was created at the marquee and a number of people were injured.

The entire city, wrapped in banners and hoardings announcing the idol’s dimensions, came to a grinding halt as traffic stopped for a couple of hours.

Kolkata police subsequently banned public viewing of the idol, and filed a case against the organisers for violating rules and regulations.

“We know that we will find a lot of places to house the idol. But we want the best location to exhibit it. So we are still looking,” said a Puja committee member.

“We are unhappy about the fact that hundreds of people couldn’t see the idol after the marquee was closed. So we hope we can display it somewhere,” the member added.

A distraught Mintu Pal who along with nearly three dozen workers slogged for months to create the colossal idols is now pinning hopes on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for preserving it.

“It is really very painful that after putting so much of effort, the people were devoid of watching my creation. People from faraway places came to see it, had to return disappointed,” said Pal.

“I hope the chief minister comes to the rescue and ensures the idol is preserved and exhibited for people to see it,” he added.

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