The Telegraph
Friday , November 9 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bridge key to safe Chhath

The civic body has decided to build small bamboo bridges to help devotees perform Chhath rituals at the ghats, where the Ganga has shifted northwards from its original course.

The district administration would also publish a list of dangerous ghats within a week.

Last year, the administration had allowed the devotees to use 65 ghats.

The river, which has shifted at least 2km towards north in the past two years, has left devotees with no option than to walk through the sandy stretch to reach the water.

“Walking at several ghats is not considered safe because of the muddy puddles along the sandy stretch. So we are going to build small bamboo bridges at the Collectorate, Pahalwan, Mahendru and Baans ghats. The one at Baans Ghat would be the longest. Funds for this purpose have been allocated to different circles of the municipal area and work is likely to start on November 11 and take eight days,” said a senior official of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Urban development department minister Prem Kumar held a review meeting with senior civic officials.

The minister asked the officers to clean the Mishri, PMCH and Bansi ghats in Bankipore circle at the earliest.

Directives were also issued for repairing the defunct high-mast lights at Law College Ghat and to complete ground-levelling work at Jagannath Ghat, Gandhi Ghat and Law College Ghat.

Civic officers have also been told to build separate enclosures for women and ensure that a sufficient number of ambulances and divers are ready at all ghats.

Temporary ponds would also be dug at Mahendru and Collectorate ghats.

Sources said approach roads would also be developed at certain ghats, including Pati Pul, Shiva, Post Office, Minar and Bind Toli, at an estimated outlay of Rs 90,000.

This year, the PMC has started the process of selection of contractors for cleaning 72 ghats along the Ganga.

“The contractors would ensure cleanliness, safe passage for devotees, lighting arrangement and bamboo barricades at the ghats. The firms would be selected by November 9 and they would have to complete all work by November 18,” said the PMC officer.

On Tuesday, the civic body cleared the pending amount of the contractors, who had cleaned 65 ghats last year.

Though the civic body has geared up to clean the ghats, many devotees are sceptical about the work at the ground level.

“Every year, such work is undertaken but still many of the ghats are seen cluttered with garbage. So we have to decide where we would perform the rituals. Men from my family visit the ghats a day or two in advance before finalising on the cleanest one, which is also easy to reach,” said Lata Devi, a resident of Ashiana Nagar.

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