The Patna administration has geared up to ensure a safe Chhath for the hundreds thronging the ghats during the festival.
The district administration has decided not to construct any approach bridge at the narrow Adalat Ghat to ensure minimum crowding there.
“The steps at Adalat Ghat are steep and the approach road from Ashok Rajpath is too narrow. Thus, we have decided that no approach bridge connecting the main course of the Ganga would be constructed this year. A decision on whether entry to ghats would be prohibited by erecting barricades has not been taken yet,” said Makshood Alam, the sub-divisional officer, Patna Sadar.
On November 19 evening last year, at least 18 devotees died in a stampede near the Adalat Ghat. A pontoon bridge was erected at the ghat last year to allow passage to devotees to the main course of the river. The main course of the Ganga has shifted around 1km from the Adalat Ghat.
Though an approach bridge is being avoided at the Adalat Ghat, two pontoon bridges would be built at the neighbouring Collectorate and Mahendru ghats each. The bridges would be one-way and 100ft from each other.
A decision in this regard was taken after a team comprising Anjani Kumar Singh, principal secretary to chief minister, Atish Chandra, the secretary to chief minister, Amir Subhani, home secretary, S. Siddharth, urban development and housing department secretary, Manu Maharaj, senior superintendent of police and district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar surveyed the Collectorate and Mahendru ghats on Saturday morning in the run-up to Chhath.
“The pontoon bridges at both the ghats would be built by the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL). To avoid any commotion, one bridge would be for entry and another would be for exit at both the ghats. The BRPNNL has also been asked to repair the steps at the Collectorate Ghat,” said Ravi Bhushan Sahay, the district public relations officer.
The district administration is determined to make every possible arrangement for Chhath revellers’ safety. It has decided to prohibit bamboo bridges at all ghats. Movement of private boats during the festival would also be banned.
“There would be strict one-way traffic arrangement for both entry and exit of devotees at all the ghats to avoid congestion,” said Sahay.
The district administration is also expected to finalise a list of dangerous ghats by October 10.
“All sub-divisional officers have been asked to submit a survey report by October 9 on all the ghats comprising details on their prevailing conditions, water-level, approach roads and the maximum crowd-handling capacity. Thereafter, a list of the dangerous ghats would be declared. The dangerous ghats would be barricaded to ensure complete restriction on the movement of the devotees,” said Sahay.
Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) would not operate the pump houses on the two days of Chhath — tentatively on November 8 and 9 — so that sewerage water is not discharged into the Ganga, when the devotees perform their rituals.
Control rooms and medical camps would be set up at all the ghats. Police personnel would be deployed in civil dress at the ghats and their approach roads to avoid an Adalat Ghat rerun.
Volunteers or Chhath Puja samitis would look after the lighting arrangements at the ghats. The lighting on the main roads would be looked after by the PMC. “Private agencies would also be engaged to look after the lighting arrangements. Emergency lights and generators would be mandatory at all the ghats,” Sahay added.
precaution on cards
Must for govt
Remove encroachment on the approach roads
Lay wires underground
Display emergency numbers
Ensure uninterrupted power supply
Must for revellers
Do not panic in
In case of emergency, call emergency numbers
Look for not-so-popular ghats to avoid crowds
Avoid taking children
Which ghat will you visit during Chhath?Tell firstname.lastname@example.org
navratra starts with prayers and dances
Tradition and innovation have come together to augment the festive mood in the club circuit of the city this Navratra.
The festivities began on Saturday — the first day of the festival — with rituals and prayers. From Sunday, the focus was on fun and frolic, as the clubs hosted dances for their members. As the festivities pick pace over the next few days, the members of the clubs are ready to celebrate without any inhibitions.
The members of the historic Bankipore Club began their celebrations with a special prayer
Mahesh Agarwal, the director of the club, said: “Though fun and enjoyment are the priority of festivals, we also keep an eye on the rituals. Like every year, our Navratra celebrations began on Saturday with a special prayer and pran pratishthan (invoking the gods).”
The members of the club who will fast on
the nine days would be able to offer prayers at the club.
After the prayers, it was time for the club members to let their hair down. On Sunday, the club organised a dandiya night.
Special attraction: Food without onion and garlic for the members who plan to fast during the festival. “There is a special menu with food without onion and garlic. Apart from cooked food, there are also fruits and juices,” said Agarwal.
The dandiya of Gujarat and the dhunuchi naach
of Bengal shared dais at Lions
Madhu Srivastava, the president of the club, said: “As many of our members go for holidays during the festive season, we celebrated Navratra with dandiya and dhunuchi naach on Sunday.”
Dancers taking part in dandiya carried colourful sticks that they used for synchronised skirmish with their partners. Durga Puja is incomplete without dhunuchi naach, where participants perform vigorous moves
while balancing pots of burning coir on different parts of their bodies.
Along with dandiya, the club organised a Mata ki Chowki on Sunday.
Besides dance and rituals, the club members have also created rangolis. “These geometric designs represent nature. We planned these rangolis days in advance,”
Special attraction: Red is the colour of festival and fun. The dress code for dandiya was red. The dancers who performed dhunuchi naach were draped in saris with red borders
The food at the club is also satvik (without onion and garlic). Some of the items on the menu are puri-sabzi, mooli-lachcha, kuttu ki puri and mint-malai kulfi.
The district administration is yet to decide whether or not the last three days of Navratra — which correspond with Saptami, Ashtami and Navami of Durga Puja — will be dry days.
The prospect of dryness has forced the club managements to curtail their celebrations.
Bankipore Club director Agarwal said: “We are celebrating Navratra on a simple note, as we don’t know if the last three days of Navratra will be dry days or not.”
Asked about it, district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar said: “We have not taken a decision on this issue yet. If the last three days of the festival are dry days, the liquor shops will obviously be closed.”