The National Green Tribunal, East Zone, on Thursday allowed Chhathh Puja rituals at Rabindra Sarovar in South Kolkata, for this year following a plea by Kolkata Municipal Corporation and representatives of other NGOs.
The NGT Bench consisting of retired Justice S P Wangdi and Professor P C Mishra directed that the rituals can be held at the designated places by the lake which should be fenced so as to make sure that the water of the lake does not get polluted owing to offerings like flowers, fruits and other materials. The lake is home for several species of normal as well as migratory birds.
Around 30,000-odd devotees in the different parts of the city would be permitted to dip their feet in the water and offer water to the gods as part of the rituals, the NGT Bench said in an order which will applicable for this year only.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had moved the plea before the NGT following its earlier order banning Chhath Puja rituals at the Rabindra Sarovar Lake, which is part of National Lake Conservation Plan of the Central government, to stop the pollution of the lake and the surrounding gardens and grounds.
However, a representative from Bihari Samaj Community has alleged that the plea in NGT was done without their prior knowledge. They should be party in the case, as they are the principal organisers of the Chhath Puja there.
KMC claimed that it would be difficult for the authorities to make alternative arrangements for around 30,000 devotees in such a short period of time as Chhath Puja is to be held on November 6.