Friday, December 1, 2023

Steel City gears up for Chhath festival

Administration focusses on safety and cleanliness
: With Durga Puja and Diwali already over, the steel city is gearing forward to the Chhath festival, Bihar’s most revered and rigorous religious event that is held six days after the conclusion of Diwali.

The local administration has sprung into action to clean up ghats that, after a whole year of neglect and lack of any care or upkeep, will need an army of workers toiling round the clock to make it usable and safe for millions of devotees who will swoop on over two dozen ghats in the city.

JSEB said workers had been deployed to ensure all electrical transformers near various ghats were checked and were in working condition so they were adequately lighted for the evening ‘arghya’.

Engineers will be on a short call notice in the event of any malfunction and spare transformers will be readily available for replacement of any dead units.

Administration has appealed to the people of the city to use ponds and water tanks in their areas to offer ‘arghya’ to avoid the crowd and risks at the ghats.

Administration has called the corporates like Jusco, Tata Motors and Tata Steel to provide manual and machinery assistance to the administrative officials in carrying out the exercise before the festival. “We have asked all the socially responsible corporate institutions to extend their cooperation in carrying out the drive,” said SDO, Dhalbhum, Sudbodh Kumar.

Particularly, Jusco has been asked to provide electricity and make lighting arrangement in the low laying areas of the city, or for that matter, at the approaching paths to the two rivers. Similar responsibility has been given to Tata Motors to take care of In Telco.

The most important task before the administration is to barricade the danger zone and stop the devotees and revellers from breaching into that area. In the light of past incidents of drowning the administration has got serious with this issue and has taken firm measures in this regard particularly, in Mango, Sonari and Kadma where the possibility of accidents are high.

Meanwhile officials of Chhath Ghat Committee said that there is an urgent need to properly clean the river banks, and various water bodies on the occasion of the festival of Chhat Puja, which is celebrated with gaiety and fervour by people of the city.

They said that people take bath in water tanks and rivers and therefore it is essential that the cleaning work of these water bodies is completed on time.

Meanwhile several social and cultural organisations of the city have decided to set up canopies near ghats to supply essential commodities to the devotees. Administration is barricading the danger zones and also putting up sign boards to caution the revelers visiting the riverbanks.

In 2006, eight youths, including three teenagers had drowned into the Subernarekha river here on Chhat causing much embarrassment to the administration, then. Ironically, in the wake of parched river, the government had issued directive to the Chandil dam to release water in the Subernarekha river a day ahead of Chhat on last year.

�This year the situation is just opposite so we are making adequate arrangements to make the festival an incident free celebration,� said a district administration official.

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