Ban on Chhath Puja at Lake to continue

Kolkata: Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) will close all the 12 gates of Rabindra Sarobar from 6 pm Tuesday till 6 pm on Thursday to prevent observance of Chhath Puja at the waterbody. No activities including morning and evening walk will be permitted at the Sarobar premises during this period.

"We are taking all possible measures in collaboration with Kolkata Police to prevent people from entering Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar with the National Green Tribunal disallowing puja at these two places," a senior official of KMDA, the custodian for Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar said.

A joint inspection was done by senior KMDA officials and Kolkata Police on Monday at Rabindra Sarobar to supervise work of barricading all the probable places where boundary walls can be breached to reach upto the two waterbodies with bamboo and corrugated sheet fencing. Special emphasis in terms of police security will be given at gate number 4 (PWD gate) and gate number 5 (Mother Dairy gate) while barricading. Last year a section of Chhath Puja revellers had tried to stop KMDA employees during such work.

Flexes have been put up in all the gates of both the waterbodies indicating clearly the reason why these are kept out of bounds for puja revelers and the list of alternative ghats where the rituals can be performed has also been displayed. About 7 permanent ghats and 32 temporary ghats in the city have been earmarked already for performing Chhath Puja on November 10 and 11.

The seven permanent ghats are located in two places — six at two locations in Nonadanga near Fortis Hospital off Kasba — EM Bypass connector and another adjacent to Satyajit Roy Park in Patuli. The temporary ghats have been developed in a manner to ensure that the Bihari Samaj need not travel far from their respective homes for performing the Chatth Puja.

In all the 16 waterbodies where the 39 ghats will come up to have bio toilets, police assistance booth, changing room for women, lighting arrangements and medical assistance booths. Assistance will be taken from KMC for having drinking water facilities. Wooden or ply platform will be set up at the temporary ghats and arrangements will be such that the Chhath Puja revelers cannot go beyond chest deep water to ensure safety. 15 NDRF boats will be deployed for immediate rescue in case of any emergency.

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