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Mission Clean-up begins

Jamshedpur, Nov. 17: Cleaning of Chhath ghats got underway in the steel city on a war footing today with barely 48 hours left for celebrations to begin.

A East Singhbhum district administration team led by subdivisional officer (Dhalbhum) Subodh Kumar, deputy superintendent (law and order) Kanhaiyan Upadhaya and senior officials of Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee, Mango Notified Area Committee and Jusco not only inspected the major ghats but also initiated action to ensure they were fit for rituals within the short time available.

On Friday, The Telegraph had reported how all the major ghats were littered with puja paraphernalia and wastes due to Kali Puja immersions.

The SDO admitted the ghats were not in the best shape. However, he claimed that cleaning them days in advance would not have served any purpose as they would have become dirty again.

“We knew Kali Puja immersions would continue for two-three days. Carrying out cleaning work earlier would have been a waste of time and energy as the ghats would have been littered with waste again before Chhath. We are using all our resources and hope to have the ghats ready before November 19 evening,” said Subodh Kumar.

Around eight excavators were pressed into service. Over 100 workmen from Jusco and as many from Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee were engaged in cleaning up Subernarekha Ghat (Sakchi), Bhuiyandih Ghat (Hume Pipe), Kapali Ghat (Circuit House), Domuhani Ghat (Sonari) and Sati Ghat (Kadma) all through the day.

There are around 40 ghats in the city which witness a surge of devotees offering arghya during Chhath.

In a significant move, the SDO directed all police officers to ensure that no earmarking of space takes place in the ghats.

“We have received complaints that local goons reserve space on river banks and sell them at exorbitant rates to devotees. Anyone found indulging in such acts would be dealt with severely,” the SDO said.

Corporate entities like Jusco, Tata Power, Lafarge, Tata Steel Processing and Distribution Limited and Tata Motors have been asked to ensure installation of lights at ghats in their jurisdiction in time for the festivities.

The administration has prohibited bursting of firecrackers and use of loudspeakers at river ghats during Chhath. Vehicles would not be allowed near the ghats and would have to be parked in earmarked spaces.

Heavy vehicles would not be allowed entry into the city from 12.30pm on November 19 till 10am on November 20.

District civil surgeon Jagat Bhusan Prasad has constituted 10 medical teams in collaboration with social outfits which would be deputed near major ghats along with ambulances and first aid facilities.

To deal with the rush of devotees headed home to Bihar at this time, divisional railway manager of South Eastern Railway’s Chakradharpur division Rajiv Agarwal directed attaching an additional sleeper coach and a three-tier air-conditioned coach to the Tata-Chhapra Link Express till further notice.

All 75-odd buses bound for Bihar are also witnessing heavy rush of passengers.

Prasad portal

To help devotees around the country, Bhojpuri portal www.bhojpuria.com has planned online distribution of Chhath prasad free of cost.

Portal founder Sudhir Kumar said they started the exercise in 2005 and have been distributing prasad comprising thekuas, apples and dry sweets to devotees.

“One has to fill personal details like name, address and contact numbers in the link of the portal. The prasad will be delivered at the address within 72 hours anywhere in the country free of cost. We will also bear courier charges,” he said.