The most talked about Durga Puja for 2015 was certainly that of ‘Deshapriya Park Sarbojanin’. Billed the world’s tallest Durga Puja with the Durga idol measuring nearly 88 feet, a slew of advertising activities prior to the inauguration ensured people’s earnest interest. This interest turned into an avalanche of footfalls on Chaturthi. Traffic not only in and around Deshapriya Park, but even as far as the EM Bypass-Ruby Hospital crossing was choked to a standstill. Both the Kolkata Police as well as the Puja organizers were caught unawares as the stretch near Deshapriya Park became inaccessible.
Photo Courtesy: The Times of India
If Chaturthi was a precursor, Panchami proved to be a waking nightmare. Nearly one million strong pandal hoppers tried to converge on the Pandal. The situation soon snowballed into a stampede. The elderly gasped for precious breath, as nearly eleven people were seriously injured in the ensuing pandemonium. The situation was so pathetic that even the Kolkata Police Commissioner, Surajit Kar Purkayastha had to board a metro train from Esplanade to Kalighat and walk several kilometres till Deshapriya Park to check ground reality. He immediately called for temporary closure of the gates at the Pandal.
“We have not decided as of now when the Deshapriya Park puja pandal will be re-opened. We are talking with the organisers
of the puja committee. We intervened in the right time and any untoward situation was prevented,” Kolkata Police Commissioner, Surajit Kar Purkayastha was quoted as saying.
The temporary closure soon turned permanent as view cutters were subsequently installed. The organizers and the Kolkata
Police blamed each other for this unfortunate mishap which made the headlines for Durga Puja in 2015.
Photo on Cover Courtesy: IBN Live