Delhi gears up for Chhath Puja

October 31st, 2011 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) With just one day to go for the Chhath Puja, the Delhi government and the capital’s civic agencies have expedited the cleaning up of the banks of Yamuna river and for other arrangements for the devotees.

Surya Shashthi, popularly known as Chhath puja, will be celebrated Tuesday and Wednesday in the capital city by people from Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

According to Delhi government, nearly 40 lakh people are expected to visit the banks of the Yamuna and pray to the sun god while standing in water, make offerings of fruits, puja material and delicacies along with other materials of worship.

“MCD is cleaning up the ghats of the Yamuna river to make it accessible to the devotees. The cleaning process of certain ghats was found to be satisfactory, while certain ghats need improvement. We have requested MCD to complete sanitation work,” said Health and Revenue Minister A.K. Walia.

Meanwhile, officials said 47 ghats along the river across the city have been cleaned up and logistic arrangements have been made for the festival.

“In view of last year’s rush, we have introduced 6 new ghats for the Chhath puja celebrations. We have also asked the Delhi Police to install CCTVs at all the 47 ghats and beef up security,” Walia said.

Apart from cleaning up of ghats, the Delhi government has made arrangements for water and electricity near the ghats, and tents, chairs and mobile toilets are being arranged for the devotees.

“Besides refurbishing the ghats, Delhi government will put up tents, toilets and medical facilities. MCD will take care of sanitation work, while Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has been told to release 150 cusecs of water out of its stored capacity, so that the river will have clean water during Puja,” Walia added.

The ITO Bridge, Kondli Bridge, Chilla village, Kalindi Kunj, Usmanpur, Prem Bari Bridge, Narela and Badli Canal are some of the main sites where arrangements for the Chhath congregation have been made.

“Rescue divers and about 17 boats have been kept ready to avert any untoward incident, and even display boards, warning of deep water ahead, have been installed. Doctors, mobile dispensaries and ambulances are also being kept ready in case of emergency,” a flood and irrigation department official said.

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