Civic bodies create about 44 temporary water bodies for Chhath Puja
Kolkata: Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has made elaborate arrangements for devotees for observing Chaath ritual on Friday and Saturday by creating infrastructure in 44 water bodies that includes 16 artificial ones created by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). KMDA which is the custodian for Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar has also taken adequate measures in coordination with Kolkata Police to prevent people from entering the premises of the two sprawling waterbodies with the Calcutta High Court disallowing puja at these two places.
"We are putting up wooden barricades on the footpaths so that nobody can go up to the gates of the two waterbodies. We are also putting up notices in all the gates stating clearly that no entry will be allowed in these premises from Thursday night till 3 pm on Saturday," said a senior KMDA official.
The KMDA will deploy additional security forces at all the gates to prevent any forcible entry. 20 women guards at Rabindra Sarobar and 10 at Subhas Sarobar will be working in shifts as the rituals are mainly performed by the women folks. Rabindra Sarobar has 25 gates while Subhas Sarobar has 5.
There was no restriction on performing rituals at Subhas Sarobar last year.
The Kolkata Police too will have special security arrangement at both Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar to prevent devotees from performing rituals there.
"We will strictly abide by the court's order. There are adequate alternative arrangement for the benefit of the devotees," said Firhad Hakim, Chairman of KMDA.
There were 51 waterbodies where Chaath rituals were observed last year. KMDA has created infrastructure in 44 more waterbodies that includes 16 waterbodies or reservoirs that have been artificially created by Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
Besides this, KMC will also monitor the major ghats along the bank of the river
A senior KMDA official reiterated that there will be arrangements of voluntary cleaners for cleaning the waterbodies on immediate basis, if there is any untoward incident of breaching security on the part of devotees.
Last year devotees broke open the locks and entered Rabindra Sarobar premises. There were aged persons, women and children among them. Kolkata Police will deploy around 5,000 police personnel at all the venues for observing Chaath. Deputy Commissioners (DC) of every division will supervise the arrangement while three DCs will be present in each of the sarobars.
Besides Additional CPs, Special CP Jawed Shamim will also supervise the arrangements.