Even as the seeks to highlight pollution in Yamuna, the Arvind Kejriwal government has elaborate preparations to organise Chhath puja at 1100 ghats in Delhi this year.
On Friday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Kailash Gahlot visited some ghats to review preparations for the mega festival, which is celebrated with huge fervour in eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Chhath puja is celebrated in reverence to the Hindu God of the Sun.
Speaking to the media at a Yamuna ghat in ITO, minister Gahlot said that the Delhi government has directed all officials concerned not to let any stone unturned to make the government initiative a success.
“All district magistrates have been directed to identify spaces for Chhath puja, keeping in mind religious sentiments and the directives of the National Green Tribunal,” he said.
Gahlot further said, “Chhath puja will be celebrated with full fervour after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. I myself have chaired several meetings with senior government officials and MLAs. Any kind of lacklustre on part of officials will not be tolerated.”
Puja will not be organised at the ghats where water is stagnant, he informed, adding that several departments are working in tandem for the mega event.
However, Gahlot sought to evade a question regarding Chhath puja on the bank of Yamuna in Kalindi Kunj area where toxic froth on the river surfaces often causes embarrassment for the AAP government.
On Thursday, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders visited Yamuna ghats to highlight water pollution ahead of the Chhath celebrations on October 30 and 31. BJP MPs Manoj Tiwari and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma & Manjinder Singh Sirsa took a boat ride in Yamuna in the area to highlight the government’s inaction in cleaning the river.
Again on Friday, Verma again visited the Kalindi Kunj barrage and was seen indulging in a heated tip-off with officials of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which eventually led to the BJP leaders publicly scolding an official. He was furious with the government’s move to spray chemicals on Yamuna’s surface for, what the government says, is “purifying it”.
BJP has criticized the AAP government, saying that the chemical is toxic and harmful to the river water.