City's Yamuna ghats spruced up for Chhath festival
Delhi government and municipal corporations are working in tandem to ready the river banks including making safety arrangements for people who will throng the ghats on the last two days of the festival.
The age-old tradition, which pays obeisance to the sun god, is observed mainly by people from Bihar and eastern UP.
People from the two states mark the festival by congregating at nearby river banks and water bodies.
The national capital has a sizeable population of people hailing from the two states. "We are making all arrangements and preparations are almost complete at the ghats under our jurisdiction.
Besides, beautifying and making sanitation arrangements at the ghats, we have also put up mobile dispensaries there," Director, Press & Information, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Yogendra Singh Mann,said.
North Delhi has ghats like Wazirabad Ghat, Ram Ghat and Kudesia Ghat, besides Western Yamuna Canal that crosses at Pitampura. "We have done levelling at the ghats, removed weeds and vegetation growth that sprung up during monsoon season.
Besides, we have carried out fumigation there and stationed mobile toilets," Mann said. Arrangements are also being made in ghats in east and south Delhi and both East Delhi (EDMC) and South Delhi municipal corporations (SDMC) said work was almost complete and mayors and senior officials are now inspecting the ghats.
"We have one major ghat -- Kalindi Kunj Ghat -- under our jurisdiction, which attracts a huge crowd every year on this festive occasion. We have made sanitation and beautification arrangements there already," a senior SDMC official said. As per the tradition, on the second day of the festival, devotees cook 'kheer' on earthen fire, which is served as 'prasad'.
On third day they make an offering ('arghya') to the setting sun and the next day to the rising sun. In east Delhi, ghats at Sonia Vihar and Geeta Colony are also being prepared, and barricades are being put up.
"Delhi government's Irrigation and Flood Control Department are coordinating with us for the preparations. They will take care of cleaning of the river and deploy divers for carrying out rescue work, if needed," Mann added.
Most ghats are 'kuccha' and therefore major levelling works were needed. Also, some people prefer to go to nearby lakes and water bodies like Sanjay Lake in east Delhi or Bhalaswa Lake on the Outer Ring Road in north Delhi for the celebrations.