Panipuri inspired Kolkata Puja pandal becomes headache for organisers

Kolkata, Oct 21 (IANS) A unique idea to decorate a community Durga Puja pandal at Behala in the southern outskirts of Kolkata with pieces of panipuri, locally popular as puchka, has now become a major headache for Puja organisers.

The office bearers of Behala Noun Dal Durga Puja Committee, on Maha Saptami, the first day of the four-day Durga Puja festival, are now wondering how to prevent the revellers from tearing off the panipuri pieces from the pandal walls and taking them back home as mementos.

Besides this, a bigger apprehension on this count is keeping the organisers even more tense since majority of the revellers who are resorting to panipuri pieces collection are children or minors.

“The attraction of the puchka among Bengalis is irresistible. So in case anyone consumes even a piece collected from the pandal wall being overwhelmed by the irresistible charm of puckha, there is a possibility of health hazard for the person concerned including food poisoning,” said a member of the organising committee of the puja.

He explained why these decorative panipuri pieces used for the decoration of the pandal are different from the regular puchkas available at different roadside makeshift stalls.

“Special chemicals are added to these decorative panipuri pieces to preserve their crunchy nature till the end of the puja, till the idol is immersed and the pandal is dismantled. So this chemical can lead to a number of stomach-related ailments in case anyone consumes even a piece of it,” the organising member added.

The organisers are constantly making announcements on loudspeakers cautioning the pandal visitors of the possible health hazards that can arise because of the consumption of such decorative panipuri pieces.

The adults accompanying the kids at the pandal are also being asked to be especially attentive in the matter.

Behala Noun Dal is celebrating its 59th year of Puja this year.

The concept of the pandal theme is that of Ayan Saha.

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