Chhath Puja: All Delhi Govt Offices to Remain Shut Today, Traffic Restrictions in Place
There will be traffic restrictions in Delhi today and tomorrow due to Chhath. It is a major festival in eastern UP, Bihar and Jharkhand, although it is celebrated in other parts of the country as well where Purvnanchalis are settled.
Devotees offer prayers on the occasion of Chhath puja at ITO Yamuna Ghat, in New Delhi (File photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The city is all set for Chhath puja celebrations with the Delhi government declaring a public holiday on Tuesday and the traffic police issuing an advisory on special arrangements and restrictions during festival days.
With various Delhi government agencies stating that 'ghats' have been set up for the four-day festival at around 1,000 locations, the ruling AAP and BJP have engaged in blame game over preparations for the festival.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) meanwhile said necessary directives have been issued, like specific areas where people could take a dip in water.
The devotees, mainly women offer 'arghya' to the setting sun and the rising sun in succession on Chhath. It is a major festival in eastern UP, Bihar and Jharkhand, although it is celebrated in other parts of the country as well where Purvnanchalis are settled in significant numbers.
The festival is celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali. Chhath Puja relives the age-old tradition of paying obeisance to the Sun God.
The Delhi government said it has declared public holiday on the occasion of Chhath on Tuesday and all the state government offices would remain closed on the festival, said an order issued by the government.
Agencies of Delhi government have set up ghats for Chhath at around 1,000 locations, officials said. Arrangements of the ghats and facilities for worshippers have been made by different agencies of the Delhi government as well as the municipal corporations.
A monitoring committee has been constituted by the Delhi government to look after preparations of Chhath including ghats and tents.
Municipal corporation officials said over 700 ghats have been prepared by the three civic bodies. The mayors and other leaders of BJP-ruled corporations visited and took stock of the facilities in the past few days. The municipal corporations are also looking after cleanliness, fogging and lighting of ghats.
With Purvanchalis numbering around 40 lakh among the Delhi electorate, the AAP and BJP are levelling allegations on one another regarding arrangements.
Senior AAP leader Raghav Chadha alleged beating of Chhath Puja Samiti members in South Delhi on Sunday, charging BJP with creating an atmosphere of insecurity by dividing society on the basis of religion.
"On the one hand AAP government has made arrangements of 1,000 ghats for chhath, on the other hand there is a party (BJP) which is beating people," he said in a press conference on Monday. BJP's Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, said arrangements for Chhath made by Delhi government are "totally insufficient" as compared to the requirement.
"Chhath is identified with religious faith of the people but Kejriwal government is politicising it. Hoardings are being installed with photographs of ministers and AAP MLAs at Chhath ghats," he said.
The CPCB said all the directions are in place like specific areas where people would be allowed to take a dip in water. "No new restrictions would be imposed for tomorrow except the ones already there which include specific areas for taking a dip in the Yamuna, not allowing people to throw garbage or eatables in water. Burning of fire crackers is not allowed," a CPCB official said.
The Delhi Traffic Police issued an advisory about special traffic arrangements and restrictions for November 13 and 14.
The police have advised commuters to avoid roads including Outer Ring Road from Mukarba Chowk to Chandgi Ram Akhara, Wazirabad Bridge, roads near ISBT Kashmere Gate, Pushta Road (Khajoori/Shastri Park), Kalindi Kunj Bridge on these two days.
According to the advisory, normal flow of traffic is likely to be affected on roads adjoining the major ghats of the Yamuna river and water bodies like the Bhalaswa Lake and the Haiderpur Canal.
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