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At a time, when all the major puja organisers are vying with each other in the race to showcase "innovative" theme puja this season, here is one which is highlighting a cause — Save Environment. The pandal at Kalikapur on the Eastern Metropolitan bypass is made up of 120 solar panels. The Mahatirtham Durgotsab Committee is using solar power to illuminate the pandal as well as the neighbouring areas.
S P Gon Chowdhury, the director of West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Authority (WBREDA) is one of the main organisers of the puja. He took pains to design the entire pandal and about 200 solar lamps have been put up to meet the electricity requirement.
"We have used 120 panels and have stored energy which will work for next seven days. The solar panels are functional for least two days and the panels have started storing solar energy. Normally, the primary source of power is the electricity supplied by the CESC or WBSEB. While the emergency source happens to be the generator or the solar power. We have, however, reversed the system. We are using solar energy as the primary source and we are keeping other power sources for emergency," said Gon Chowdhury.
Crash course to become priests
As the city remains busy doing last-minute shopping before the pujas, a group of young men rehearses shlokas and rituals at a crash course to counter priest shortage in Kolkata. Due to the mushrooming puja committees in the city and its outskirts, a shortage of skilled priests is felt each year. To match the demand, the West Bengal Pandit and Purohit Association is running a crash course at Maniktala temple for priests ahead of the Durga Puja.
Applicants with a basic knowledge of rituals are allowed to enrol in the week-long workshop.