Hundreds of pujas in Kolkata and Howrah will be vying for the best idol, pandal, and puja, but not without disregard for Covid safety standards.
The North and South Kolkata and Howrah pujas are judged virtually for Parle Marie Anandabazar Patrika Sharad Arghya 1428 Sahajogitai Oaksmith Gold glasses and co-sponsored by David & Goliath and radio partner 91.9 Friends FM.
In the first two rounds, judged by Anandabazar Patrika readers and art students alike, puja organizers took the judges for a tour of pandals online.
Readers and students of art schools connected from their homes during the first round of judging, which took place over two days. Sixty pandals were selected from the 350 participants.
Of the 60, the top 15 were selected on Sunday – five each from North Calcutta, South Calcutta and Howrah – which reached the final round.
The best idol, best pandal and best puja in each of the three regions will be judged by two artists, Bimal Kundu and Aditya Basak, on Monday.
“The emphasis is on artistic beauty but judges also assess Covid security protocols,” said an organizer.
“There are marks on the vibe, and the judges also want to know the type of material that was used for the pandals,” said the organizer.
The use of masks, distancing, the availability of disinfectants in the pandal have become essential features of Durga puja in Kolkata over the past two years.