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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Eye on polls, Sheila Dikshit woos Poorvanchalis

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 14, 2012
First Published: 23:06 IST(14/11/2012) | Last Updated: 16:05 IST(6/10/2013)

With an eye on next year's assembly elections, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday assured Poorvanchalis that the government would consider their demand to construct uniform and standard ghats (prayer platforms) on irrigation canals that are lying unused.

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The chief minister discussed Chhath Puja preparations at a meeting with Poorvanchali leaders on Wednesday.

Poorvanchalis account for approximately 25 per cent of Delhi's population and constitute a major vote bank in Delhi.

When the delegation raised the topic, the chief minister said a detailed action plan was needed in this regard.

"We will consider the proposal and would like to have uniform and standard development of ghats on such (unused) canals.  We have already taken up the issue of release of water with Haryana for ghats in Delhi," Dikshit said.

She said her government would request the union rail minister to start more special trains to enable Poorvanchalis visit their hometowns during the festival.

Delhi was the first state to declare Chhath Puja as a restricted holiday in the year 2000 after Bihar.

The union government declared Chhath Puja a restricted holiday in 2011.

There are around 1,000 Chhath Puja ghats in Delhi used by lakhs of people for offering prayers to the Sun God.

Mukesh Sharma, parliamentary secretary to the chief minister, said she had instructed all departments concerned to make arrangements for Chhath Puja, which falls six days after Diwali.

The Delhi government had directed the police to ensure adequate security arrangements during the puja.

Tents will be erected for the devotees at several places on the Yamuna banks.

Dedicated to the Sun God, Chhath Puja is likely to be observed in the capital on November 19 or 20.


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