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Durga Puja ends in Bengal

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Kolkata October 11, 2016 : Teary-eyed devotees bade an emotional farewell, as idols of goddess Durga and her children were immersed on Tuesday in lakes, and rivers and ponds of West Bengal on Vijaya Dashami, bringing to an end five days of revelry and celebration associated with eastern India’s biggest festival.

However, as decreed by the state government and the court, idols worshipped in the households or apartment complexes were to be immersed till a deadline of 6 p.m. Four household pujas were given extension till 8.30 p.m.

But reports from the 17 ghats (each having a set of stairs leading to the river) on the banks of the Hooghly said lot of idols were in the queue for the immersion even at 8 p.m.

The idols of community pujas would be immersed from Thursday. The government has decided not to allow any immersion on Wednesday on account of Muharram.

There was a festive look on the banks of the Ganga and other water bodies. With drums playing the immersion beats “Thakur thakbe kotokshon, thakur jabe bisarjan (How long will the goddess stay on earth, She will now be immersed)”, children, young and the old joined hands to slowly put the idols into the water.

At Babughat, one of the prominent immersion banks in Kolkata, the rituals picked up pace from around 3 p.m. With the large scale community puja organisers opting to immerse their idols after Moharram, mostly idols of household and apartment complex puja were immersed here on Tuesday.

“We are feeling a bit sorry as today is Dashami. Durga Puja is the time for reunion and merriment for our entire complex. We all get together and enjoy for these four days,” said Debasis Sarkar, one of the organisers of Sahana Association Puja Committee of Rajdanga.

Sad at the festival getting over for the year, there was some consolation from the loud cries of “asche bochor abar hobe (See you next year)”.

A salient feature at Babughat was the alacrity with which the premise was being promptly cleaned by the 20 KMC workers after each idol was placed in the river. The flowers and debris are washed away and the structures removed to prevent river pollution.

“We are working to keep the river clean. Separate space has been created to dump the flowers and other puja materials. The idol structures will be removed by tomorrow during the time of low tide,” said Sahahjahan, a KMC worker busy removing the earthen lamps from the river bank.

A check-in competition was seen at the Babughhat premises.

Social media portal like Facebook and Instagram went into a tizzy as the young brigade from mostly residential apartments flashed out their selfie sticks and were seen glued to their smart phones announcing their presence before anyone else on arrival to the ghat.

“There is a lot of competition among para (locality) pujas. So we thought of outshinig Athe others by checking in first and posting selfies. This is for fun as we are hooked to social media,” said Sanju, a 19-year-old devotee.

#BijoyaDashami trended heavily on Twitter all through the afternoon along with #Dussehra as posts flooded notifications of one and all.

Facebook’s new Live video facility were also used to the optimum as many were seen filming the entire immersion ceremony and huddling in groups to see the comments.

With Mahanavami over, it was now time for the goddess to return to her husband Lord Shiva at their heavenly abode in Mount Kailash after the annual sojourn to her paternal home.

Tight security arrangements were made at the rivebanks and launches were kept ready to rescue people in case of emergencies, police said.

The Dashami rituals in the morning saw married women preparing the goddess and her children for their long journey back home by smearing the deities and each other with red vermilion.

They also offered sweets to the god, and prayed for the well-being of their families and long lives of their husbands while performing these rituals.

There were long queues before sweet shops as people started visiting relatives and friends to wish each other “Shubho Bijoya (Happy Vijaya Dashami)”.

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Delhi Metro ready to resume services after 169 days

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New Delhi, 7 Sep : Delhi Metro is ready to resume its services, which were suspended since 22nd March 2020 due to Corona pandemic, from tomorrow i.e, 7th September 2020 onwards from Yellow Line (Samyapur Badli to HUDA City Centre) in a staggered manner. Over a period of next five days i.e, by 12th September, rest of the Lines will also be made operational with all safety measures in place to check the spread of Covid-19 in the Metro premises which requires everyone to follow a new normal of social distancing, face mask and hand sanitisation.

“On this Monday and Tuesday, only the Yellow line (49 KM with 37 stations consisting of 20 underground and 17 elevated stations) will remain operational for a period of four hours each in the morning (7 AM to 11 AM) and evening (4 PM to 8 PM). Trains will be available with a headway varying from 2’44’’ to 5’28” (at different stretches) with 57 trains performing around 462 trips. The same will be further extended in a graded manner from 9th to 12th September along with other Lines”, said Mr. Anuj Dayal, the Executive Director of Corporate Communications at DMRC.

“The resumption of services with a new normal to prevent the spread of Covid-19 desires public to understand and co-operate with DMRC/CISF personnel on few aspects for a comfortable and safe commuting experience”, a statement released by DMRC said.

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Unlock 4 Guidelines: What’s allowed, what’s not

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Metro Services to resume from September 7

No permission needed for inter/intra-state movement of goods, persons

New Delhi, 29 Aug : The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday announced guidelines for ‘Unlock 4’, which will come into effect from September 1. As per the new guidelines, Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner, while schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain shut for students upto September 30.

Under Unlock 4 guidelines, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will be issuing Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for the Metro services to resume.

The Ministry of Home Affairs have decided to allow religious, social, political, entertainment, sports and academic events to take place from September 21, but only outside the containment zone with a limited participation of not more than 100 people. Open air theaters will also be permitted from September 21.

“Such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer,” MHA guidelines for Unlock 4 state.

The statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for Unlock 4 clearly stated that there will be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods, and no separate permission/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

In a statement the MHA said, “State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government.”
For the vulnerable section of the population, the MHA said, “vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for essential requirements and for health purposes.”

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BJP leader Manoj Sinha appointed Lt. Governor of J&K

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New Delhi, 6 Aug : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manoj Sinha was on Thursday appointed the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, a day after G.C. Murmu in a surprise development resigned from the post exactly a year after the nullification of Article 370 in the erstwhile state, and barely nine months after he took over the reins of the newly created Union Territory.

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