Delhi: AAP MLAs to oversee arrangements for Chhath at 800 temporary venues
The arrangements include tents, water, toilets, power connections, drainage, medical camps and safety provisions such as CCTV cameras, deployment of home guards, fire tenders and first responders, officials said
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government has prepared 800 temporary venues for Chhath celebrations in the city on Tuesday and entrusted MLAs to oversee the arrangements at each venue.
The arrangements include tents, water, toilets, power connections, drainage, medical camps and safety provisions such as CCTV cameras, deployment of home guards, fire tenders and first responders, officials said.
“Keeping in mind the importance of the Chhath Puja, the Kejriwal government ministers and AAP MLAs have taken charge of the preparations. On Tuesday, people saw AAP leaders conduct inspections across Delhi, making sure that there were no shortcomings in the preparations,” the party said in a press statement.
AAP Delhi convener and state environment minister Gopal Rai inspected Chhath preparations at Bhalswa Lake. He said, “Top notch facilities from tents to CCTV cameras have been organised at the site. No other state government is making preparations like the Kejriwal government and Chhath is being held in true Delhi style. As many as 800 Chhath ghats have been prepared by the Kejriwal government with all necessary provisions for the Mahaparv.”
Rai further said, “Our only wish is to help the people of Delhi and of Purvanchal to celebrate Chhath Puja without any obstacles. Amid the enthusiasm and the preparations, I’d also like to urge people to practise great caution and strictly adhere to Covid-19 guidelines, which were kept in mind while making the arrangements. The role of the BJP here is that of exercising and imposing its politics. While the responsibility of the Aam Aadmi Party is to help organise the Puja. So they’re doing their part, and we are doing ours.”
On September 30, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) banned Chhath Puja celebrations in public spaces, even as it allowed Durga Puja and Dussehra festivities with restrictions. This led to protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which demanded that the government allow Chhath celebrations as well.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on October 12, urging the Centre to issue guidelines for the Chhath festival as soon as possible after consultations with health experts.He wrote that Chhath is celebrated especially by “people from Purvanchal” with “deep faith and sacrifice.”
Later, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also wrote to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, who is also the DDMA chairperson, urging him to allow Chhath festivities but with Covid protocols. The DDMA on October 28 allowed Chhath Puja festivities in public places at designated sites, with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. It, however, refused to allow celebrations along the river banks.
In the past decade, Chhath has become a major festival in Delhi with Purvanchalis -- people belonging to areas in eastern Uttar Pradesh -- and Bihar accounting for over one-third of Delhi’s population of around 20 million, according to government estimates and migration data from the Census 2011.
On November 5, the Delhi government declared November 10 as a public holiday this year on the account of Chhath Puja.