CM inspects Ganga ghats for Chhath, tells officials to augment safety measures
The CM instructed Bihar urban infrastructure development corporation (Buidco) and Patna municipal corporation officials to spruce up the infrastructure at Patipul ghat in Digha and LTC ghat in Patna.patna Updated: Oct 22, 2017 20:39 IST
Keen to avoid a repetition of the boat tragedy that claimed about two dozen lives on January 14 this year, chief minister Nitish Kumar, on Sunday, took a boat ride from Nasiriganj’s ghat of Danapur to Kangan ghat in Patna City, on the Ganga, to ensure fool proof arrangement for safety and convenience of the devotees during Chhath festival, beginning Tuesday.
Millions of devotees are expected to offer prayers at various ghats of the river and other water bodies in the capital city on evening of October 26 and the next morning. This was the second inspection trip of the chief minister within a week to inspect preparations of ghats for the festival.
The CM instructed the officials of Bihar urban infrastructure development corporation (Buidco) and the Patna municipal corporation to further spruce up the infrastructure at Patipul ghat in Digha and LTC ghat in Patna.
Officials said the CM had asked them to put up barricade in the river at Patipul ghat due to presence of current and steep slope in the river. Apparently moved by the frequent visits of the VIPs, including deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, the officials have been working round the clock to clean ghats and equip them with civic amenities for the devotees.
PMC officials have cleaned many important ponds and planned to feed them with Gangajal so that the devotees had the facility of offering arghya at places near their homes. The PMC had arranged 29 tankers to carry water from Ganga river to feed major and small ponds in different parts of the capitals.
PMC commissioner Abhishek Kumar said major ponds readied for Chhath festivity included Manikchand Talab, Anisabad, Rishi Vihar Talab, Mithapur, BMP Talab, Kacchi Talab, Gardanibagh, Mangal Talab, Patna City and Budhmurti talab in Kadamkuan.
“Besides this, we have also built temporary ponds in 53 parks for the convenience of Chhath devotees,” he added.
Officials said adequate security arrangement had been made to make ghats safe for the devotees, in view of lessons learnt from the January 14 boat mishap and the 2012 incident in which 22 devotees were killed in a stampede that occurred during the chhath festival at Adalat Ghat. .
Watch towers have been set up along the river from Dighat to Patna to keep watch on activities. Divers will also be pressed into service, even as plying of boats would be suspended to avoid inconvenience for the people.
Officials of Buidco and PMC were giving finishing touches to lighting arrangements with support from the puja samities, while temporary toilets, cloth changing premises and water facilities have been raised on the ghats. Medical camps will also be set up at various ghats and doctors and other staff will be put on stand-by during the festivities.
Water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh, road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav, Patna mayor Sita Sahu, member of the Bihar state disaster management authority Uday Kant Mishra, chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and director general of police PK Thakur accompanied with the CM during his visit to various ghats.