Celebrated six days after Diwali with people thronging the banks of rivers and water bodies to offer prayers to the Sun and his mythical sister Chhati Maiya every year, Chhat Puja has highlighted, as it usually does, the problem of water pollution in ponds, rivulets and canals which were once the lifeline of people.
Surprisingly, there is not even a single water body in the entire city that has clean water.
This despite repeated memorandums and reminders to the administration by the devotees and subsequent protests for not making adequate arrangements for the celebrations.
Recently, the migrant families had also blocked the traffic demanding the provision of clean water to perform puja.
Responding to this, the administration then arranged some tankers from fire brigade and municipal corporation, but failed to lift garbage from the sites.
Devotees have to travel to far-off places like Philllaur looking for water bodies.
The Kala Sanghian drain, also known as Ganda Nallah due to the level of pollution, passes through the city at places like Gadaipur, Focal point, near DAV College, Basti Bawa Khel etc.
“The canals are filled with filth, sludge and municipal waste. How will we perform puja at a place where one cannot stay for a minute,” said Vijay Hullas, a labourer who hails from Jharkhand.
According to the custom, devotees offer prayers to the setting sun in the evening and some even stay back the entire night to perform early morning prayers to the rising sun and then break their fast.
Since many migrant families from Bihar and Jharkhand have gone to their native places on the occasion for lack of arrangements for performing puja, industries here are facing manpower crunch.
“I feel one of the reasons that the migrants go back to their places to worship is the lack of basic amenities. In their absence, production is reduced to half and we have to increase prices of our products,” said Gurpreet Singh Gopi, a young industrialist.