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Kolkata: NATIONAL Green Tribunal (NGT) has modified its previous order pertaining to the duration of Poush Mela at Santiniketan held annually.

The eastern zone bench of NGT has passed a fresh order wherein it has allowed Visva-Bharati to hold Poush Mela for six days at the most instead of three days as was ordered last year.

The modification comes in view of a petition from Visva-Bharati authorities who sought to extend the duration as hundreds of rural artisans and small traders look forward to selling their products in the annual fair started by Rabindranath Tagore.

Although Tagore originally started the fair for the three-day duration, over the years Poush Mela was being dragged by even up to 15 days at the behest of the traders. But acting on a petition filed by environmentalist Subhash Dutta, NGT last year stipulated that Poush Mela cannot be held beyond three days as it was damaging the environment of Santiniketan.

Despite the order, the fair last year lasted for a few more days and this made Dutta knock on NGT door again. The green court issued a notice to Visva-Bharati, to which the latter responded by appealing for an increase in days.

Going by the English calendar, Poush Mela this year will start from 23 December.

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