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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ghat ecstasy to greet Sun devotees

- Rs 10cr beautification project on river banks nears completion

This Chhath, you can catch a breathtaking glimpse of the Ganga and pay obeisance to the Sun god from any of the three beautified ghats in the capital.

Come November, the tourism department’s Rs 10-crore ghat development project would transform Collectorate, Mahendru and Gandhi ghats into swanky places replete with a slew of features. Sitting and viewing terraces, arched gateways and 44 wide, marble-laid stairs with platforms leading to the water’s edge on each ghat would make them the capital’s most sought-after locations. However, work at Kali Ghat, which has an end-2013 deadline, is lagging behind schedule.

Once complete, residents can sit under the covered terraces or any of the 44 wide stairs and enjoy the natural beauty of the Ganga, unhindered, against the setting sun in the evenings.

Sources said the tourism department is in talks with Sulabh International Social Service Organisation for development of public utility services like urinals and toilets at these ghats, which would be well-lit too.

“The Patna district administration was given the charge of the scheme’s execution as it was expected to handle it well,” said Mahesh Prasad Gupta, director, tourism department.

Patna district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh claimed that efforts were on to complete the work prior to Chhath. “Work at Collectorate, Mahendru and Gandhi ghats is nearing completion. Work at Kali Ghat was stuck owing to some issue related to clearance of land,” he added.

Tourism minister Sunil Kumar “Pintu” said: “Some issues initially hampered execution of work. So we directed the official concerned to complete the work at all the four ghats by next year.”

Sources said the department initially aimed at completing the ghat beautification project in the 2011-12 fiscal but the actual execution is lagging almost a year behind the schedule.

According to the scheme, National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) has constructed 44 steps with four platforms at Collectorate Ghat, while the work on two sitting terraces and an arch at the ghat is underway. Construction of urinals and toilets and installation of lights are yet to start at the ghat.

Similarly, the rural works department is yet to start constructing the arch, urinals and toilets and installing lights at Mahendru Ghat.

No work has been completed at Kali Ghat. NREP has to construct an arch, sitting and viewing terraces, urinals and toilets and install lights there. Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited has completed almost all construction work at Gandhi Ghat except for urinals, toilets and installation of lights.

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