Puja pandal surroundings asked to be kept clean

Berhampur: Puja committees and traders in this city in Ganjam district have been asked by the Berhampur Municipal Corporation to keep their surroundings clean during Dussehra in view of recent outbreak of dengue.

"Puja organisers have been asked to ensure that pandal surroundings are clean. Business outfits should also dump garbage only in dustbins. Sweepers of BMC will collect garbage from their doorsteps," BMC commissioner A K Mohanty said.

"Sanitation is essential as thousands of people visit the city daily during Dussehera to have a glimpse of decorated pandals and idols and for shopping. We have also talked to officials of Ganjam Chamber of Commerce (GCC) in this regard," he said.

A meeting between BMC officials and puja organisers was held here two days ago. The town will have at least 40 community pujas. While rituals have already started at some of these pandals since Mahalaya, at some places puja will begin from Mahasthami.

Mayor S S Das said the civic body would extend all possible cooperation to the puja committees in order to keep their pandal premises neat and clean.

Ganjam district malaria officer U K Mishra said almost 50 per cent of the dengue positive cases in the district were reported from Berhampur. In view of this, maintaining cleanliness during the puja is a must.

The BMC commissioner also said anti-mosquito fogging drives would continue in the town during the puja. At least four fogging machines had already been pressed into service, he added.