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Dipti Ranjan Das

Kendrapara: With the Gajalaxmi Puja round the corner, preparations are on in full swing in the district. Festivity has gripped the Kendrapara town and adjoining areas as the week-long puja is all set to start this Friday (tomorrow).

As many as 60 puja pandals have been set up by different puja committees across the town. According to sources, four platoons of police will be deployed in the town for crowd control and security purpose amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, idol makers in the town are giving finishing touch to the idols. Speaking to OTV, an idol maker said, "We make idols not for business purposes but out of love and devotion for Maa Gajalaxmi. Idols are almost ready. We are currently giving finishing touch. As per State government's guidelines, we are making idols measuring 4 feet high."

Derabish, Marshaghai, Mahakalpada blocks are all set to host Gajalaxmi Puja this year. However, in a bid to check social gathering, Kendrapada SP Niti Shekhar on Wednesday issued guidelines to be followed by pandals during the puja.

"Restrictions have been clamped on lighting, decoration, playing of music and cultural programmes at the pandals. In an attempt to prevent Covid-19 spread during the festival, the puja organizers have been instructed to cover the pandals from four sides. Not more than 7 persons will be allowed on the pandals, as per the guidelines issued by the admin," said Shekhar.

The puja will take place from October 30 till November 8.

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