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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

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  • The Puja Committee's move came following the government-enforced curbs on the height of idols during the ensuing festive season amid growing resentment in public and political storm in the State.

The Orissa High Court on Thursday concluded hearing on the petition seeking relaxations to the government-enforced curbs on the height of idols during the ensuing festive season. The State's top court is now scheduled to pronounce its verdict on Friday. 

As reported earlier, the Balubazaar Puja Committee, which is one of the oldest Puja organizers in Cuttack, had filed a petition in the Orissa HC seeking judicial intervention in permitting usual celebrations during the upcoming festivals, especially Durga Puja, with Covid guidelines in place. The Puja Committee's move came following the government-enforced curbs on the height of idols during the ensuing festive season amid growing resentment in public and political storm in the State over the government's refusal to grant relaxations in the Puja guidelines.

In its pray, the Puja committee had urged the Court to direct the Cuttack district administration and the State government to permit the continuation of the 500-year-old tradition at the Durga Puja mandap.

The Balubazaar Puja Committee has made the Odisha Chief Secretary and the Special Relief Commissioner respondents in the petition.
Earlier while announcing the August 9 guidelines, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Pradeep Kumar Jena had capped the height of the Durga idol to 4 feet.

Meanwhile, Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab has informed that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been informed about the Puja Committee and Shanti Committee's decision.

"It has been proposed to remove the cap over idol height and permit conducting the puja and other rituals without curtaining the mandap. We will adhere to all other guidelines. We have informed the CM through a written letter which was sent via Prabhat Tripathy," said Mahatab.

"We hope he (CM) will hear our prayer. However, the final decision is entirely to be taken by the administration," he added.

During a Shanti Committee meeting, Mahatab had termed the government's decision of ruling out the relaxations in the idol's height as ‘funny’.
 

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