- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Agartala, July 04, 2022 : Tripura’s Tourism Department is envisaging to develop tourism infrastructure in and around Chaturdash Devta Mandir (Temple of 14 Deities) located at Old Agartala Block here under Jirania sub-division in West Tripura District, said Ratan Chakraborty, Speaker of the Tripura Legislative Assembly on Monday.
Speaking with Northeast Today on the sidelines of a press conference here at Old Agartala RD Block, Chakraborty said “Some areas in and around Chaturdash Devta Mandir have been already handed over to the Tourism department for installation of different modern facilities to escalate the footfalls of tourists. Demarcation has already been completed. We hope that this temple which was founded by the then Maharaja in 1970 would become one of the leading tourist spots in the coming days.”
He said “The centuries-old celebration of 7-day long Kharchi Puja will start from July 7 and conclude on July 13 next at the premises of Chaturdash Devta Mandir here in Old Agartala RD Block. “Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha was scheduled to inaugurate the festival on July 7 morning, but due to some unavoidable reasons. He will visit the festival and fair premises in the afternoon.”
This auspicious festival was not celebrated in a grand manner due to COVID pandemic. This year, the Puja and festival will be celebrated in an impressive way after a gap of two years. It is expected that the number of footfalls may break previous records of devotees and pilgrims visiting this temple.
“However, Tribal Welfare minister Rampada Jamatia will inaugurate the ‘Kharchi Puja festival and fair’ at 11 AM. He will be accompanied by MoS Pratima Bhoumik, ministers Sushanta Chowdhury and Prem Kumar Reang, TTAADC chairman Jagadish Debbarma, MLA Dhirendra Debbarma, Sabhadipati of Paschim Tripura Zilla Parishad Antara Deb Sarkar, Agartala Municipal Corporation Mayor Dipak Majumder, Old Agartala Panchayat Samiti chairman Biswajit Shil, DM of West Tripura district Debapriya Bardhan, Tourism Director Tarit Kanti Chakma, and Jirania SDM Jiban Krishna Acharya,” he added.
Citing the activities in this 7-day long event, he said “It is expected that 1500 artists of different categories will perform at the ‘Krishna Mala Mancha’, stage named in this fair. Separate place for accommodation has been arranged for the saints coming from different parts of India.”
He also said “On the concluding day, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, ministers Ratanlal Nath and Pranajit Singha Roy, TKVIB chairman Rajib Bhattacharjee, chairman Biswajit Shil, DM Debapriya Bardhan, SDM JK Acharya will remain present.”
Chakraborty, who is also the chairman of the Kharchi Puja and Mela Committee will preside over the inauguration and concluding programme.
Highlighting different aspects available in this fair premises, the Speaker said “All kinds of facilities like- doctors, nurses, ambulances, fire tenders, drinking water, etc. will be arranged for the devotees and pilgrims. In total, 800 interim shops will be opened. Moreover, an amusement park had been set up. On July 09, meritorious students, personalities in different fields and divyangjans to be felicitated. On July 12, a magic show has also been arranged.”
Sharing the security arrangements, Chakraborty said “150 scouts and guides, Tripura State Rifles jawans, state police personnel, five watchtowers and 16 CC-TV cameras will be installed. Moreover, a food safety van will be present to check the food served by various food stalls in the fair premises.”