Executive Engineer Nipucharan Dutta of Diphu Town Committee (DTC) called a Press meet in his office on Sunday to “clear the air” regarding the Durga idol immersion fiasco in Diphu town on October 19 last. The puja committees protested against the Diphu Town Committee (DTC) for putting up a “total disaster show” as far as making arrangements were concerned during the Durga idol immersion ceremony.
Refuting allegations of corruption, DTC Executive Engineer Dutta said, “We had made seating arrangements, proper lighting arrangements and generator facilities at the immersion site, but the puja committees have alleged that we did nothing at all.”
Dutta also informed that an explanation has been sought from the DTC employee who “collected Rs 2,000 from the puja committees”. The Executive Engineer made it clear that the DTC had collected Rs 1,500 from each puja mandap and not Rs 2,000 as “sanitation and permission fee”. Moreover, he stated that only 12 puja mandaps had taken permission from the DTC authorities while the rest did not.
On Friday, the Durga idols from more than 35 puja mandaps in Diphu town were taken for immersion to the Diphu River at 7th Mile on Diphu-Manja Road. But, the water level in the river was not enough for the idols to get immersed and the puja committees also “cried foul” over the other arrangements made by DTC which they said was “abysmal”.
The puja committee members reportedly brought several charges against Dutta and demanded that Rs 2,000 taken from them as “permission and sanitation fee” be returned. The Karbi Anglong district administration has sought an “explanation call” from Nipucharan Dutta vis-à-vis “collection of money” and “poor arrangements” at the immersion ghat site on October 19 last.
The letter shot by the district administration to Dutta went as such, “Allegations have been making the rounds that the Diphu Town Committee collected Rs 2,200/- from each of the puja mandaps in the name of making arrangements at the immersion ghat site but only handed them a receipt of Rs 1,500. Let this office know as to why you have collected the money from the puja committees without the prior approval of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the Government. DTC’s poor arrangements at the immersion site led to a law and order situation.”