Chandigarh: Ravana effigies worth Rs 1.59 crore to be burnt

Hina Rohtaki
Preparations for Dussehra at sector 46, Monday. Chandigarh is spending around Rs 80 lakh on effigies. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Around Rs 1.59 crore will go up in the smoke on Tuesday as several Ravana effigies will be set to flames in the Tricity as part of the Dusshera celebrations. While Chandigarh is spending around Rs 80 lakh, an amount of Rs 75 lakh will go up in the smoke in Mohali. Panchkula, however, has reduced the expenditure on the effigies by bringing it down to Rs 3.75 lakh.

The most expensive Dussehra event is at Dhanas, which has the 221-feet-tall Ravana effigy that has cost the organisers around Rs 50 lakh, with Rs 30 lakh being spent on the effigy alone.

Tejinder Chauhan, the maker of the tallest effigy, however, said, “If we see from the aspect of bringing smiles on people’s face then this money is worth spending. For about one week, children keep recalling of the Dussehra event they saw”.

Other than crackers in the effigies, there are 300 bouncers that have been arranged to man the tallest effigy as lakhs of people are expected at the event.

In Chandigarh, effigies will be burnt at sectors 46, 7, 28, 34, 32, 40, 41, 27, 43, 24, two events in sector 17 and various other locations.

The organisers of the event at Sector 46, however, claim that this time it is costing them just Rs 4 lakh.

Jatinder Bhatia, Chief Patron, Shree Sanatan Dushera Committee, Sector 46, Chandigarh said that around Rs 1.50 lakh has been spent in the preparation of effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath, while around Rs 2.5 lakh has been spent in organising the event for Dussehra celebration.

“We have around 150 members in the committee, and every one of us contribute at least Rs 2,500 each. The members also get Rs 1,000- 2,000 as donations for the event. Around 60 members have been working hard day and night for making the event successful at Sector 46 Dussehra Ground,”, added Bhatia.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Pollution Control committee will monitor the pollution levels which are expected to shoot up when the effigies with crackers worth lakhs will be set to flames.

Rs 1.59 cr can also be spent for

-Repair of several roads in the city
-Improving the condition of dispensaries which are in bad shape
-Better infrastructure in primary schools without proper facilities

Panchkula's expense on effigies down from Rs 25L to Rs2.5L

Written by Pallavi Singhal

While Chandigarh is spending a hefty amount on Ravana’s effigies, its judicious neighbour is spending 5 per cent of it. Panchkula, which is holding two Ramleelas, one at Shalimar Parade ground and the other at Sector 15 is spending Rs 3.75 lakh on it’s Ravana effigies. While the effigiy at Shalimar Ground will cost Rs 2.5 lakh, the effigy at Sector 15 will come at a cost of Rs 1.25 lakh.

On reducing the expense incurred on the effigy at Shalimaar Parade Ground, from Rs 25 lakh last year to Rs 2.5 lakh in the current year, Vishnu Goyal, Chairman of the Mansa Devi Charitable trust, which funds the event, said, “We are trying to reduce pollution, including noise pollution. The crackers that are being used are the ones that will give out less smoke and make less noise.”

General Secretary Sandeep Gupta said, “We have tried to be eco-friendly this year, as no matter the height of Ravana, the event is only held to revisit our history and culture. That does not necessarily need a 210ft Ravana like the last time, it can be done with a 65ft Ravana too.”

In the preparations for the day, the trust spent a sum of Rs 15 lakh, including the expenditure on the Ravana Effigy. A maximum sum of Rs 4.5 lakh was spent on the tents, while the other expenditures include hiring singers, speakers, props and crackers, among others.