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An artisan works on Mahishasura while the 22ft partially completed Durga idol stands tall at RD Bhatta and CA Puja Committee pandal in Bistupur on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

The Durga idol at Beldih Kalibari, one of the most famous pujas in town, is facing a tall competition.

Bistupur’s RD Bhatta and CA Puja Committee, which wanted to do something grand to mark its golden jubilee this year, promises to wow visitors with a giant 22-feet pratima, thus wresting the title of tallest Durga from the Beldih Puja. The entire frame where Durga shares space with her four children at the Bistupur pandal weighs three tonnes.

A 20-member team of artisans from Bengal’s Kumartuli has taken the Herculean task of working on the mighty idol, which is taller than Beldih’s 18-feet Durga.

The artisans started working on the idol at a place near the pandal in May. The goddess made her way to the pandal on September 11 evening while a huge crowd gathered at Biswajeet Manimela grounds to behold the spectacle.

“Our’s will be the tallest and heaviest idol in Jamshedpur this Durga Puja, in fact, the tallest in Jharkhand. The height of the entire structure where the idols will stand is 25 feet. Goddess Durga will be draped in a 40-metre sari procured from Calcutta,” said B.S. Prakash Rao, executive in-charge of the puja committee.

A budget of Rs 25 lakh has been earmarked for the celebrations. The puja committee has requested its 200-odd members to contribute Rs 5,000 each for partly meeting the expenses. “We are not forcing any member. It’s only a request. Most of them are coming forward with contribution,” he added.

While the cost of the idol is Rs 2.5 lakh, the pandal will be a replica of the famous Akshardham temple in New Delhi. A 25-member team from Bengal’s East Midnapore is toiling hard to give it a shape.

The proud vice-president of the puja committee, B. Anand Rao, added that they had paid a special visit to Kumartuli to select the deity’s face. “We told the artisans that we wanted a smiling face of the goddess. A different dye was made on our request,” he smiled.

According to assistant secretary P. Bej, the idol will be completed on September 30 and pandal inaugurated on October 5. Such a huge Durga will certainly call for elaborate immersion provisions. “We will be requisitioning a crane to lift the idol as was done while shifting it inside the pandal,” the executive in-charge said.