Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, Oct 24:
Devotees across Odisha today bid farewell to Goddess Durga with immersion of idols amidst much fanfare and tight security drawing an end to nine day long Dussehra celebrations.
“This is a mixed feeling. Past nine days had been great. The events, the surrounding and the festivities had us high. The realisation that none of this would remain after today creates a void deep inside. We are thankful that Mother Durga visited the earth and the celebrations went off well this year after Phailin and Hudhud of previous years and await her arrival next year,” said a devotee in Cuttack, the epicentre of Dussehra celebrations in the state.
As per directives of the High Court, the immersion this year has been planned to be held at specially made temporary ponds to curb water pollution.
As per latest reports, the immersion so far, has been largely peaceful and going on smoothly barring Rourkela where the puja committees expressed deep dissatisfaction over drain water being diverted to immersion ponds. The immersion has been postponed till tomorrow. Local ADM has agreed to divert river water and fresh water through containers into the pond following the intervention of Rourkela MLA Dillip Ray.
In the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, massive arrangements have been made by the Puja committees and administration.
“In Cuttack, 28 aid posts have been set up and 65 platoons of cops including anti-terrorist squad have been deployed. As many as 13 CCTV cameras have been installed at immersion ghats to keep a vigil on the proceedings and special traffic arrangements have also been made. Out of the 157 idols scheduled to be immersed in Cuttack, 12 were immersed at Debi Gada by this morning and overall 30 have been immersed so far,” said Cuttack DCP Sanjeev Arora.
Similarly, in Bhubaneswar, adequate traffic, security and immersion related arrangements have been made.
For 169 idols of the capital city, four temporary immersion ponds have been set up near Daya and Kuakhai Rivers and 35 platoons of cops have been deployed to maintain law and order during the daylong event.
“We have a Bhasana Samiti in Bhubaneswar. This 24 year old committee has been working to ensure a smooth immersion ceremony since 1985. This year, 24 idols will gather at Sahid Nagar Puja pandal and we would take out a massive procession from Vani Vihar till Raj Mahal. From Raj Mahal, the respective committee members would take a diversion towards Kuakhai or Daya based on the earlier arrangements,” said Jagannatha Mohapatra, Secretary of the Committee.
“As per the order of the High Court, we have set up four immersion ponds to curb water pollution. These ponds have been layered with plastic sheets to prevent water leakage and soil pollution. We have also deployed men to fish out the plastics, flowers and other components used in making idols immediately after immersion to process them at a separate place. Besides, adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure the festival passes off without a glitch,” said Bhubaneswar Mayor Anant Narayan Jena.