GUWAHATI: The Durga Puja pandals in Assam have been witnessing a low footfall of devotees thanks to COVID-19 and rains. The celebration of the festival is restrained to only religious rituals this year. The Assam Government has issued guidelines to cut short the celebration to prevent COVID-19 infection. Many committees in Guwahati which organise grandiose Durga Puja every year are celebrating a low-key puja.
“This year we are only observing the religious rituals. We have been maintaining utmost cautions due to the ongoing pandemic,” said Gautam Chandra Sarma, secretary of Brihattar Rukminigaon Sarbajaneen Durga Puja Committee.
On the other hand, continuous rains across the state from Friday also dampened the festive fervor.
“We couldn’t come out yesterday due to rains. Today we have come to seek Maa Durga’s blessings. We hope, we will be able to celebrate Durga Puja in a grand manner next year,” said a devotee at a Puja Mandap in Guwahati.
On the other hand, many sweet sellers have to say that sale of sweets has dipped this year.
“Jilapi is the most sought sweet during Durga Puja. But this year, sale of sweets is not satisfactory. This Durga Puja is different in all aspects,” said a sweet seller.