Mamata holds meeting to prepare crowd management blueprint

by IANS |

Kolkata, Oct 19 (IANS) After the Calcutta High Court on Monday directed all Durga Puja pandals (marquees) in West Bengal to be turned into no-entry zones in the interests of the public, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a high-level meeting at the state secretariat Nabanna.

The meeting was attended by the chief secretary, home secretary, state health department principal secretary, director general of police and Kolkata Police commissioner to review the law and order situation and crowd management during the festive spell.

To ensure Covid-19 safety guidelines, the CM also instructed all district administrations, such as district magistrates, police superintendents and chief medical officer of health (CMOH), to be alert during the occasion so that patients can get treatment at the hospitals.

State security advisor Surajit Kar Purakayastha was also present in the meeting.

The interaction between the CM and other district administration officials was held virtually, sources said.

The Calcutta High Court on Monday expressed serious concerns over social gatherings at puja pandals and on the streets that started much before the five-day festivity in Bengal.

During the hearing, Justice Sanjib Bandopadhyay said that the pandal area will have to be barricaded and demarcated as no-entry zone except for named personnel who have to be identified by the organisers in advance.

The HC order is applicable throughout the state, including all the pujas which have received Rs 50,000 grant from the Mamata Banerjee-led state administration.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 death toll in the state touched the 6,000-mark on Sunday with 64 fatalities, while a record single-day spike of 3,983 new cases took the state's Covid tally to 3,21,036, the health department bulletin said.

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