If you notice naked bamboo pole scaffolds lining the streets, blame it in the marketplace. The stoop in the economy has taken the sheen off many well-known puja pandals that don’t have political backing.

“Aashay, sashay banish bend he Boshe aachhi (We have placed up the bamboo scaffolds with lots of desire),” said a glum-faced Dipankar Dutta of Dumdum Park Sarbojanin.

“The company homes are refusing to even initiate communication. If we fail to get sufficient banners, we can try to refill at least the gap in front of the pandal but the cash spent on erecting those systems will cross from our wallet. We had no choice but to put them up lots earlier as the employees turn into busy with the pandals and gained’t have the time for such paintings.”

With GST collections hitting a 19-month sluggish, there’s little doubt that retail consumption has hit a trough and customers are deciding on to keep the money in their wallets fearing a pointy drop in destiny earnings with the economy sinking into a rut.

Ironically, the idol at Dumdum Park Sarbojanin is portrayed as Annapurna, the goddess who provides for all and is worshipped in a warehouse that is stacked to the ceiling with meals substances.

The gloom and doom situation has blighted the economics of puja committees — a stark reality that Sandip Chakraborty, the secretary of Badamtala Ashar Sangha, contemplates with despair.

“Our puja has had to cut down its finances from Rs forty-two lakh a final year to Rs 27 lakh this time. We have been doing subject matter-based totally pujas on the grounds that 1999 and the company sponsors came in from 2000. Never have things appeared so dismal as this yr,” he says.

The commercial hoardings that emblazoned the gates to the puja pandals were booked inside the beyond at everywhere between Rs eighty,000 and Rs 1 lakh. This time spherical, we’ve had to accept Rs 40,000. Banners went without problems for Rs three,000 to Rs four,000. This year, the going rate is barely Rs 1,500. “Chardikey sudhu bhakta (The slowdown is visible anywhere),” he lamented.

At this price, even though one manages to get a booking, there is rarely any income left after paying off the people. The contractor’s rate Rs 10,000 for erecting a gate whilst the charge for a stretch of the horizontal bamboo framework for the banners is Rs fifty-five to 60 according to the square foot. Chakraborty nonetheless considers himself lucky: his puja committee had expected the state of affairs and scaled-down the finances.

Partha Ghosh, president of Forum for Durgotsav, the umbrella frame of city puja organizers, is worried that many clubs will sink into debt this yr. “Most of them had drawn up their budgets almost a year earlier. Sponsors, I listen, are canceling their bookings that they had made either verbally or thru e-mails,” said Ghosh, who also organizes the Shibmandir puja.

“A puja that receives into debt will never be capable of getting out of it. We rarely make financial savings,” Chakraborty said ruefully.

Metro spoke to the owner of Arun Sign Service, one of the best-known out of doors show companies dealing in puja publicity, to get to the basis of the drought in bookings.

“In the 22 years that I have been on this profession, I have in no way visible such dismal commercial enterprise. The shortfall is ready 40 in keeping with cent,” said Prasanta Dutta with a shake of his head.

“For every 20 companies that invest heavily in puja publicity, four or 5 on a median trim their finances in a bad 12 months. This yr, nearly every customer has carried out so. Some had 0 commercial enterprises to provide. So, I am left with barely six or seven customers, in place of 20,” he introduced.

He stated gutkha makers, cement producers, and cellular smartphone organizations have historically been the largest advertisers at some point in Durga Puja. “All of them appear to have disappeared from the scene this yr. I was hoping for the hope that some final-minute enterprise would are available. But even that did no longer happen,” he said.

Advertisers said the slowdown blues had bitten the corporates who were carefully evaluating the allocation of their constant budgetary sources throughout one of a kind channels consisting of activities and digital channels.

“We will fork out almost the identical amount of cash as we have performed within the beyond. But we are not wonderful any new requests as it will then turn out to be an annual commitment,” stated Sanjay Agarwal, dealing with director of Star Cement, which made a splash some years ago through sponsoring the arena’s largest Durga idol at Deshapriya Park.

A corporation owner said they have been nonetheless obliging “phone calls” emanating from politically linked organizers, however, have been not entertaining other requests.

The pujas which are organized with political backing also are gambling it safe this yr after receiving profits tax notices to give an explanation for their supply of funds and expenses made remaining 12 months.

Some groups are keeping off those pujas altogether as they want to persuade clear of stricken waters.

“Compared with the last yr, this year we’re seeing a decline in outside advertisements. There is a slowdown in the financial system that has affected the industry in a bad way. Durga Puja is the largest competition in Bengal. The brands that have a robust presence in the nation usually are seeking for high visibility during this era. But this time humans are shying away. Neither have we been able to grow the range of advertisers, nor is there any year on yr growth,” said Aninda Banerjee, coping with a director, Nikon Group.

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