The spectacular laser show which was called the ‘showstopper’ of the 145-feet tall pandal- a replica of Dubai’s iconic skyscraper Burj Khalifa was suspended on Tuesday. The decision was taken hours after multiple complaints by airline pilots on Monday evening about the laser lights intruding while they were approaching Kolkata airport to land.
The much-hyped pandal was created at Sreebhumi, Lake Town. As per rules, the Civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) mandates an 18.5 km radius exclusion zone for laser lights around airports to prevent pilots from getting blinded by laser beams during the crucial landing phase.
The Puja pandal is nearly 8.5km from the runway and next to the aircraft approach funnel. As per a report by The Times of India, the organisers of the Puja helmed by state fire minister Sujit Bose claimed they had voluntarily shut the laser display on the 145-ft pandal to control the crowds. Although the Covid-19 cases have declined in the past few days, doctors and local residents have expressed fears of the area turning into a Covid zone. Scores of people have thronged the city’s streets during the festivities.
The pandal with a lit-up replica of Burj Khalifa has been created by artists and electrical whiz-kids in Salt Lake City’s Lake-town area, attracting tens of thousands of people and creating traffic jams throughout the day.
The 145-feet tall pandal has been built using some 6,000-acrylic sheets and expert lighting has enhanced the effect and it has become a show-stealer for all Pujas in the city. On Monday, the nearby roads witnessed massive traffic jams as cars full of gawkers streamed from all over the metropolis to look at the marquee set up for the Durga Puja. Over 250 workers toiled for three-and-a-half months to erect the structure.
Like in previous years, the organisers have covered their Durga idol with 45 kilograms of gold, state fire minister Sujit Bose, who is also one of the officials of the Puja, told PTI. Every year, we build one iconic structure as our `pandal’ (marquee). Last year, we built a replica of the Kedarnath Temple.