The Kolkata MunicipalCorporation (KMC) has set up several makeshift ghats in waterbodies across the city for members of the Bihari community toperform the Chhath Puja ritual.
Civic authorities in Kolkata have set up severaltemporary ghats near 16 water bodies to avoid crowding duringChhath Puja celebrations on Friday.
At least 44 temporary ghats have been erected alongthe water bodies in Kasba, Anandapur, Jadavpur, Patuli beltsof the metropolis, a KMC official said.
Apart from that, three large artificial brick-madepools have been arranged in Deshapriyo Park, Chetla-RashbehariAvenue and Kadapara-Beleghata areas to enable devotees toperform rituals on the occasion of Chhath there instead ofgoing to large lakes, he said.
Another official of the West Bengal Pollution ControlBoard said two other waterbodies in Dumdum area, on thenorthern outskirts of the city, have also been readied.
As per the orders of NGT, Calcutta High Court andSupreme Court, to disallow Chhat rituals on Rabindra Sarobarand Subhas Sarobar, the Kolkata Municipal DevelopmentAuthority prevented the entry of people from November 19midnight to 3 pm November 21 at both lakes. The KMDA has alsolocked the gates of both lakes and a large contingent ofpolice has been posted, an official said.
Unfenced portions along the boundaries of both lakes,were also barricaded with metal shades, the official said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a tweetsaid “heartiest greetings to the people of Bengal, India andall over the world on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja.
May Lord Surya fulfill all your wishes.” Banerjee in a separate video message appealed todevotees to offer the Chhath Puja either from home or atneighbourhood ponds. If the devotees live near the river, theycan go to ghats but without processions and in small groups,she said urging everyone to cooperate in the COVID-19situation and honour the orders of the judiciary in thisregard.
Banerjee said around 1,300 waterbodies are there allover the state which have been kept ready for Chhat devoteesin different areas.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in a tweetoffered warmest greetings to everyone on Chhat puja.
“Warmest greetings to everyone on the auspiciousoccasion of Maha Parv #ChhathPuja. May positivity of ChhathPuja spread in our life and fill it with good health, peace,prosperity and happiness as also well being of all. Let purestthoughts guide all our actions,” Dhankhar posted onmicroblogging site.
Environmentalists S M Ghosh and Sumita Bandyopadhyay,crusaders for Save Rabindra Sarobar movement, said they werehappy with the measures taken by state so far “but keepingfingers crossed about how things turn up in the afternoon, thetime of Chhat puja.” “We are apprehensive going by last years experiencewhen thousands broke open the locks and stormed inside thelake premises. We hope that wont be repeated this year,” hesaid.
A spokesman of Bihari Samaj said: “We urge ourcommunity members not to venture into Rabindra Sarobar andSubhas Sarobar. Please either offer rituals at your respectivehomes by creating a basin on your rooftop or terrace and offerpuja standing in water, or go to designated water bodies setup by the administration or to river ghat in small groups.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)