JORHAT, Oct 13 - Cloudy weather with intermittent light showers of rain since the past three days have not been able to deter the celebration mood of the people here for the four-day Durga Puja extravaganza which is slated from Tuesday next.
Despite the overcast sky accompanied by frequent drizzling, people have come out for shopping with most of them rushing to two big shopping malls that were opened earlier this week. Jorhat has now over 10 shopping malls with two additions on the eve of Durga Puja.
Overwhelming footfalls in the big malls seems to be having an impact in the shops and small markets � especially the garment, shoes, cosmetics and shops � as claimed by many traders.
Another reason cited by the shop-keepers for fall in customers was increasing level of online shopping which offers wide range of items at heavy discounts.
Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing in 84 mandaps in and around Jorhat town to celebrate Duga Puja with all pomp and gaiety. Workers are giving finishing touches to the mandaps with decorations of various kinds under way. Altogether puja will be held in 270 mandaps across the district.
Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Narayan Konwar told The Assam Tribune today that the district administration along with police department has geared up to ensure a peaceful and a safe puja for the revelers.
He said that as per a plan drawn up in this regard, elaborate security arrangements have been made. The Deputy Commissioner said that a meeting of the district administration with the puja organising committees was held recently and they were directed to comply with the guidelines issued by the police and administration for maintaining law and order.
Committees have been asked to engage volunteers adequately and keep electricity-producing generators and fire extinguishers ready.