Come October 1 and the city will don a festive outfit. For the Bengali community settled across different parts of the city, the five days of Durga puja translate into an occasion for merry making and joy.
It is, however, not just the average Bengali who looks forward to the festivities that these five days entail.
“A big puja is organised in Greater Kailash, but we prefer to go pandal-hopping all across Delhi. So we usually cover areas such as CR Park during the day and then move towards Kashmere Gate and Karol Bagh to visit the older and more traditional pujas. We also stop to have bhog at a few places,” said Tara Misra, a resident of Greater Kailash.
For the Bengalis who live in and around Chittaranjan Park (CR Park), the grandeur of the festival inside the colony replicates the fervour that many of them have witnessed in Kolkata.
With nine pujas being organised just within the colony, the popularity of the same has grown over the last few years.
Yet, security during the festival has become an increasing cause of concern for residents.
“We shifted to Delhi eight years back. Since most of us cannot travel to Kolkata every year for the festival, we look forward to the celebrations across Delhi that more than make up for it. But there are thousands of people who come from other parts of the city. So there are a lot of factors such as eve teasing, pick pocketing and other security risks, which tend to deter us from venturing out in the evenings,” said Anindita Basu, a resident of Chittaranjan Park.
The Delhi Police has however, decided to take stock of the situation and assess the security arrangements across the more popular festival sites in the city, following which additional support will be provided wherever required.
“We are getting in touch with various Durga Puja samitis, the Ramlila Ground committee and others to gauge the situation. They will need to have access to door frame metal detectors, hand held metal detectors, security personnel and CCTV cameras. We will then advice them on what arrangements need to be made,” said additional DCP Rajan Bhagat, Delhi Police spokesperson.