Like every year, From 16th September, Paradip Port town is dazzling with decoration and crowds are pouring for the Lord Viswakarma Puja being celebrated with pomp. This festival is the biggest annual event for the Paradip Port township. This year around 30 pandals have been erected with rich decorations of lights, gates and idols of Lord. Besides Port Electrical Division, Marine Department, Public Health Department belonging to Paradip Port Trust, various associations and Trade unions including Jagatsinghpur District Truck Owners Association, Jagannath Truck Owners Association, Orissa Marine Fish Producers Association, Erasama-Paradip Industrial Development Council, Utkal Port and Dock Workers Union, Paradip Port Dock Mazdoor Union have erected their pandals in the heart of the city near Jayadev Sadan. Inspite of adverse weather conditions, lakhs of people from the nearby villages, towns like Cuttack and Bhubaneswar are throwing in various puja pandals. Heavy rain was experienced in the late night of 16th September.
Paradip Port Trust has helped the Puja organisers by providing the spaces for pandals and supply of Electricity. Paradip Municipality has provided health services including cleaning of roads and spraying of bleachings and other materials to avoid spreading and transmission of diseases. Paradip Police is regulating the vehicular traffic and movement of people by two wheelers besides opening a control room at the puja site. Inspite of deployment of Police, incidents of chain snatching, pick pocketing, stealing of mobiles have been reported at Paradip town since last few days before commencement of Viswakarma Puja alleged by some gangs comprising of children in the gangs. Various opera parties are organising shows and the local Kamala Cinema is conducting 5 filmi shows everyday to keep the crowd engaged day and night. Thousand of small shops selling utensils, house hold items, food stuffs are also attracting the crowds. Various industries like PPL, IFFCO, IOCL Paradip Oil Refinery, Paradeep Carbons, Essar Steel and various workshops are also organising the Puja in their premicess. The celebration will continue for 5 days.
Viswakarma being adored as the God of Constructions and Paradip bein the industrial and Port hub, the Puja at Paradip is celebrated by all communities including Hindus, Christians and Muslims. Even the foreign ship’s crews which are now in the Port are visiting the puja pandals and organisers are not putting any restrictions. The organisers of Jagannath Owners Assoiciation said as Lord Viswakarma do not belong to any cast, creed or religion, puja pandals are opened to all.