Friday, March 31, 2023

Jamshedpur Durga Puja Samiti gets strict on ‘forced donations’


Jamshedpur : Extortion in the name of “chanda” (donations) for puja celebrations in the city gives nightmare to businessmen, bus owners and even poor autorickshaw operators who suffer alike every year during durga puja.

This year organisers associated with Durga puja committees in different parts of the city have especially been asked to ensure that there are no forcible donations. Jamshedpur Durga Puja Samiti has instructed all puja committees in Jamshedpur to ensure that puja pandals are not constructed by blocking roads, lanes and byelanes.

As per the directives, puja committees have to construct the pandals in such a way that sufficient space is there for movement of fire brigade in case of any emergency. Each puja committee must engage sufficient number of volunteers for crowd control and assistance to police. All puja committees must arrange for sufficient lighting facilities in and around the puja pandals, and also adequate fire fighting measures.

Ram Babu Singh, general secretary of JKDPS said that all the puja committees have been ordered not to force people to donate for the festival. If any committee indulges in such act people must report and the license of the erring Durga puja committee will be cancelled. “We have decided to ensure that no forcible donations are taken from the people. If we receive any complains we would definitely act against that particular puja committee,” noted Singh.

Meanwhile businessmen in the city though have welcomed the step but are still a worried lot. “We have no other option but to pay whatever amount is written on the chanda receipt.” according to other businessmen, local goons in almost every locality have got printed receipts in the name of fake puja committees. These members of various small gangs collect donations by terrorising businessmen using the names of notorious criminals.

A number of committees also collect donations in the name of organising cultural programmes, promising to bring big names in the field of music. But in practice they save money by engaging local artists every year,” said a businessman.

Meanwhile JKDPS has assured of all positive help. Meanwhile cleanliness and hygiene would be the ‘mantra’ of JKDPS for this Durgotsav. Durga Puja, the most awaited festival of the denizens is all set to begin. Several puja committees from across the city are busy making plans to give a different look to their pandals.

Officials of JKDPS have said that the focus this year would also be on cleanliness and hygiene.

It may be mentioned that Jamshedpur Kendriya Durga Puja Samiti is the apex body of Durga puja and governs the organising of puja festival in city. The general secretary also said that they would take up the issues of cleaning and developing the Subernarekha ghats with the district administration so that the immersion of the idols is held in a clean environment.

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