Delhi set to witness a lacklustre Durga Puja. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Sep 29 : One of the most popular festivals in the national capital -- Durga Puja -- in all likelihood is going to be celebrated 'virtually' this year amid the 'new normal' scheme of things taking over due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions, including social distancing.

Delhi witnesses grand celebration of Durga Puja every year but this time, the festival is all set to lose its glitz and shine. Preparations in many places in the national capital are underway to celebrate the Puja 'virtually'.

The Chittaranjan (CR) Park area, popularly known as 'Mini Kolkata' owing to a sizeable Bengali population, houses some of the biggest and most visited 'pandals' of Delhi. Durga Puja in CR Park Kalibari or Kali Temple is one of the most famous here.

The buzz would, however, be missing in CR Park as the many cultural programmes and functions held every year have to be done away with. Some of these events might be held online in some places.

Siribash Bhattacharya, secretary of the CR Park Kali Mandir Society, told IANS: "We have planned to worship Goddess Durga by bringing in a small 4-feet idol but people will not be involved in this. It will be completely online. " "We have talked to a local TV cannel regarding this as we have plans to broadcast the puja online," he added.

"This time there will not be bhog (Prasad), cultural programs would be held online. The main programmes will not be celebrated. Everything will be done as per the government guidelines," he said.

CR Park remains abuzz with a festive spirit during Durga Puja. Some of the pandals reflect Bengali culture, and pandal hoppers also get an opportunity to taste a lot of popular Bengali delicacies, as a "major grub fest" is an integral part of the puja affair.

The cultural evenings usually organised at CR Park, where popular singers and musicians are invited, might turn online.

"There is no puja happening this time. Only for a day, it would be held but there shall be no idol or pandal... we have earmarked an area where it would be held amid the presence of only 10 people," General Secretary of Chittaranjan Park Durga Samiti B Block ground, Suprakash Majumdar, told IANS.

Ekayan Tarang, a dance group, performs every year on Durga Puja. The group performs at other locations in Delhi apart from CR Park. This year, the group members appear disheartened. Dance group member Arundhati Banerjee told IANS: "Every year, we wait for Durga Puja, but this time, the Puja won't be celebrated due to Covid-19."

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