The four-day Chhath Puja festival that was celebrated with zeal by large number of migrants from Bihar concluded on Monday leaving the Prime Minister’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ in a sorry state.
Besides littering different nooks of the city with paper plates and cups, Sidhwan canal and river Sutlej were also left plagued where core tradition of the festival (worshiping the sun) was performed during the wee hours of Sunday and Monday. Post the tradition of worship, flowers, coconut and even food waste was thrown at various sites of both these rivers.
To highlight this plight, several residents also took to social networking by sharing pictures of the litter and blamed local authorities and participants of this festival for it.
Aman Gill Sandhu, a city resident and a Facebook user, is one of them who took some pictures and shared them on her Facebook account. She wrote, “India is rising and shining and how! The aftermath of the Bihari Chhath Puja is bothering me as it’s happening right in my backyard. I’m a very tolerant citizen but DJs playing songs at full volume, crackers being burnt on cars and on roads, massive traffic snarls, people stuffed into tempos, pakora stalls, mess on the roads ..... they came and appeased their Sun God but who will clean the mess!! I’m actually worried where V r (we are) headed to!! And it doesn’t end here, it’s an annual affair, and believe me, every year it’s increasing in volume and mess!! Not a single policeman seen for any disaster management.” (sic).
Tarlochan Singh, a theatre activist said, “We should not just blame migrants of Bihar for this festival as during Diwali, residents were also on the same path. I hope everyone remembers the state of streets with litter of crackers post Diwali. In other words, such examples paint the reality of our common sense and rather than always pointing out fingers at local administration or others for failing to ensure cleanliness, we need to look into ourselves.”
Meanwhile, trains to Bihar that passed from the city remained packed as large number of residents from Bihar left for their respective home towns. In general compartments, passengers even did not mind sitting in the toilets.
Gulshan Rai, chief environmentalist of the district said, “We need to wake up to care for our environment. It is sad that besides littering in the city, we also do not spare our rivers during festivals, which is clearly an example of water pollution. Remember, we can save our environment only if we are serious about it.”