West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee wants Varanasi-style Ganga Aarti in Kolkata
In March this year, the Trinamool Congress chief attended the ‘Ganga Aarti’ at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi when she was on a two-day visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed interest to have a Varanasi-style Ganga Aarti in Kolkata.
“I want that there should be a place where ‘Ganga Aarti’ may be performed. Such Ganga Aartis are organised at many places such as Uttar Pradesh. We don’t have it here. But we have to see the safety first,” she said.
The chief minister made the remarks while speaking to officials at an administrative meeting held at the state secretariat on Monday. Firhad Hakim, mayor of Kolkata, who doubles up as a state minister, was also present at the meeting.
“I want the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to come up with this. It may take two years. A place has to be identified where a temple is located close by. There has to be seating arrangements,” she added.
In March this year, the Trinamool Congress chief attended the ‘Ganga Aarti’ at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi when she was on a two-day visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency to campaign for the Samajwadi Party during the Uttar Pradesh polls.
A senior official said that a Ganga Aarti is organised on the other side of the Hooghly River, a distributary of the River Ganges, near Ramkrishnapur ghat in Howrah district.
In the meeting the chief minister also pulled up bureaucrats and officials of some departments. She directed the state health department to crack down on hospitals for refusing patients who have Swasthya Sathi health card, a pet project of chief minister, or referring such patients to other hospitals.
A senior health department official said that at least a dozen private hospitals have been penalised for refusing patients having the health card.
“Get hold of hospitals charging patients with exorbitant rates or charging them for unnecessary items not used by the patients. Penalise them and flash the news. Only then will they become cautious and people will become aware,” she said.