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Temporary reservoir for Chhath rituals

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has been constructing a temporary reservoir for the devotees to offer Chhath puja in south Kolkata.

The move came after the National Green Tribunal has made the sprawling Rabindra Sarovar lake out of bounds for Chhath puja rituals or any other festival to prevent pollution in the 73-acre waterbody.

"The 4,000 sq ft water tank will help around 400 devotees to offer Chhath puja," KMC's Member, Mayor-in-Council, Debashis Kumar said on Monday.

The reservoir being constructed in Ballygunje area will be filled up with water before the Chhath Puja to be celebrated on November 2 and 3, Kumar said adding that it will be dismantled after the puja.

"We have undertaken a campaign among those who will observe the Chhath puja to use this reservoir and they are ready to cooperate," he said.

Kumar said a few existing waterbodies are also being renovated as alternative places to Rabindra Sarovar for Chhath rituals.

A KMC official said these arrangements are being made to prevent a rerun of last year's incident when thousands of devotees had entered the Rabindra Savovar and performed Chhath puja rituals in the water of the lake despite an NGT order that banned all rituals in the lake. The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, the custodian of the lake, had earlier said all the 15 gates of the Rabindra Sarobar will be locked during Chhath puja.

The NGT on October 14 had ordered that its 2017 order banning any ritual for Chhath puja or other religious festivals in the Rabindra Sarobar should not be violated.

The Rabindra Sarobar, which is a part of the National Lake Conservation Plan of the central government, is home to several species of birds and migratory birds.

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