Ranchi Lake, where devotees will offer arghya on Chhath, wears a clean look on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
It’s time for Chhath. It’s time to clean the ghats.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has launched a massive drive to clean as many as 41 ponds, lakes and other water bodies in the state capital where devotees will offer arghya to the sun god on November 8 and 9.
Till date, about 15 ponds and tanks like Kanke Dam, Karamtoli Tank, Jail Road Talab have been cleared of hyacinth, garbage and bushes, while the drive to spruce up the rest will be over by Diwali, which is on November 3.
“Last year, the civic body faced a lot of criticism for being able to clear only a dozen ghats as it started late. So, this time we started it just after Dussehra. We have pressed extra men and machines into service. A2Z Group of Companies Private Limited, the agency entrusted with the job of keeping the city clean, has been asked to make foolproof arrangements,” RMC deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya told The Telegraph.
While RMC has deputed seven safai jamadars for supervision, 365 workers of A2Z are working on a war footing to complete the clean-up on time.
Besides, 125 extra sweepers have also been deputed to assist the cleaning agency.
“Our first job is to remove the residue of Durga Puja immersions after which hyacinth and garbage needs to be removed. In the second phase flanks will be cleaned. On an average it takes about 10 days to clean the banks. But in case of bigger water bodies like Kanke and Hatia Dam it takes about a month,” said RMC in-charge of the operation Omkar Pandey.
Besides, the RMC has also activated all 55 ward sanitation committees. These will work in tandem with the civic body to ensure people do not litter the area around the water bodies.
But cleaning Harmu River and Ranchi Lake is proving to be the biggest challenge. Though two thirds of Ranchi Lake was cleaned on Wednesday, the water is still polluted as the lake is often used for dumping medical wastes.
The Harmu River poses similar problems.
“So far, silt, domestic waste and cow dung have been removed. As of now, 10 labourers are working to clean the rivulet. But then again it needs a further clean-up just before the festival,” said Ram Bali Yadav, who is supervising the drive.
The civic body will also hold a meeting with Jharkhand State Electricity Board soon to ensure uninterrupted power supply at the banks during the festival.
“RMC has decided to provide generators at six places. However, the number may increase,” the deputy mayor added.