KMC sets up several makeshift ghats in waterbodies for Chhath Puja
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has set up several makeshift ghats in water bodies across the city for members of the Bihari community to perform the Chhath Puja ritual.
Civic authorities in Kolkata have set up several temporary ghats near 16 water bodies to avoid crowding during Chhath Puja celebrations on Friday.
At least 44 temporary ghats have been erected along the water bodies in Kasba, Anandapur, Jadavpur, Patuli belts of the metropolis, a KMC official said.
Apart from that, three large artificial brick-made pools have been arranged in Deshapriyo Park, Chetla-Rashbehari Avenue and Kadapara-Beleghata areas to enable devotees to perform rituals on the occasion of Chhath there instead of going to large lakes, he said.
Another official of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board said two other waterbodies in Dumdum area, on the northern outskirts of the city, have also been readied.
As per the orders of NGT, Calcutta High Court and Supreme Court, to disallow Chhat rituals on Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar, the Kolkata Municipal Development Authority prevented the entry of people from November 19 midnight to 3 pm November 21 at both lakes. The KMDA has also locked the gates of both lakes and a large contingent of police 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 tweet said "heartiest greetings to the people of Bengal, India and all over the world on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja.
May Lord Surya fulfill all your wishes."
Banerjee in a separate video message appealed to devotees to offer the Chhath Puja either from home or at neighbourhood ponds. If the devotees live near the river, they can go to ghats but without processions and in small groups, she said urging everyone to cooperate in the COVID-19 situation and honour the orders of the judiciary in this regard.
Banerjee said around 1,300 waterbodies are there all over the state which have been kept ready for Chhat devotees in different areas.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in a tweet offered warmest greetings to everyone on Chhat puja.
"Warmest greetings to everyone on the auspicious occasion of Maha Parv #ChhathPuja. May positivity of Chhath Puja spread in our life and fill it with good health, peace, prosperity and happiness as also well being of all. Let purest thoughts guide all our actions," Dhankhar posted on microblogging site.
Environmentalists S M Ghosh and Sumita Bandyopadhyay, crusaders for 'Save Rabindra Sarobar' movement, said they were happy with the measures taken by state so far "but keeping fingers crossed about how things turn up in the afternoon, the time of Chhat puja."
"We are apprehensive going by last year's experience when thousands broke open the locks and stormed inside the lake premises. We hope that won't be repeated this year," he said.
A spokesman of Bihari Samaj said: "We urge our community members not to venture into Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar. Please either offer rituals at your respective homes by creating a basin on your rooftop or terrace and offer puja standing in water, or go to designated water bodies set up by the administration or to river ghat in small groups." PTI SUS RG