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Ahead of Chhath Puja, devotees in Gzb hope water arrives in Hindon river soon

Residents have said that they will stage a protest in case the water is not released into the river soon.

noida Updated: Oct 21, 2017 23:27 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Noida news,Ghaziabad News,NCR news
Devotees have started Chhath Puja preparations on the banks of the Hindon in Ghaziabad.(Peeyush Khandelwal /HT Photo)

Madhuri Pathak, a resident of Arthala, is busy preparing “vedis” for her upcoming Chhath Puja celebrations which she will commence with puja on the banks of river Hindon. However, like each passing year, she is worried whether water will arrive in the river or not.

As part of the prayers for Chhath, which has a major following of devotees in Ghaziabad and Noida, people stand in the river water and offer prayer to the Sun. The prayers this year will be performed on the evening of October 26 and early morning the next day.

“We arrive here every year as we have no option. The river is dry and there is no water. It remains a big question for devotees how they will go about their prayers during the festival. We have no other major source of water available where we can perform the puja,” she said.

The members of “Purabiya Jan Kalyam Samiti” are also furious and said they will stage protest in case the water is not released into the river soon.

“The river water (in Hindon) is very dirty and toxic as always. Every year we pursue authorities but we get only dirty water in which women and men stand and offer prayers. Many develop skin problems but they have no option. This year too, we are expecting water to be released soon and that it should be clean water,” said Pandit Rakesh Tiwari, the general-secretary of the association.

The river also receives its supplies from the upper Ganga canal (UGC) which is shut for its annual cleaning. The UGC system receives Ganga water from Haridwar and a part of it is also diverted to river Hindon during the annual Chhath Puja.

“We have already spoken to the officials at irrigation department and they have promised that water will be released soon. The water is expected to arrive by October 25 or even before the devotees can start their rituals. We will again speak to irrigation department authorities,” said Ritu Maheshwari, district magistrate, Ghaziabad.

The officials from UP irrigation department said that the department is likely to release nearly 100 cusec of water to be supplied to river Hindon before Chhath.

“The release of the Ganga water into the UGC has already begun. Since the supply has begun, it will take up a few days for the release of water with full pressure. The UGC has a capacity of nearly 12,000 cusec. With the release of water, the local supplies to the Ganga water treatment plants at Ghaziabad have also resumed,” said NK Lamba, executive-engineer, UP irrigation department.

It is an annual feature that the UGC gets shutdown for 20-22 days from Haridwar for cleaning. During this period, the supply of Ganga water to Noida and Ghaziabad residential areas also get hampered.

The UGC also supplies Ganga water to two water treatment plants at Pratap Vihar in Ghaziabad. The two plants in return supply the treated water to Noida and Ghaziabad areas.

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 23:27 IST