West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday requested the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to declare Durga Puja as Intangible Cultural Heritage and a global festival.
Meanwhile, for the second year in a row, the West Bengal government announced a grant of Rs 50,000 to each Durga Puja committee in the state primarily to make up for lost sponsorship and extra expenditure due to the Covid pandemic.
Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi on Tuesday also announced free licences as well as a 50 per cent discount on the power tariff for the committees organising Durga Puja this year.
He was speaking at a programme where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met several Durga Puja organisers from Kolkata and other parts of the state.
Besides, Durga Puja celebrations will be like last year amid COVID-19 concern, said the Chief Minister.
"I have to follow the Model Code of Conduct...No new announcement, it's the same as last year. The decision on people visiting Durga puja pandal at night will be taken later, depending on how the expected third wave surfaces," she said.