The Telegraph
Friday , November 16 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chhath clean-up challenge
Capital ponds await attention

Ponds and ghats in the capital are far from Chhath-ready.

Though Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) had cleaned every pond after the Durga Puja immersions, most of them appeared garbage-strewn on Thursday. With Kali Puja immersions slated on Friday, no cleaning will be taken up till Saturday, leaving the authorities with just about 48 hours to finish sprucing up the venues before vratis offer arghya.

While Batan Talab and Kanke Lake appeared clean, Line Tank Talab just about made the cut, Ranchi Lake, Hatania Talab, Argora Talab, Jora Talab and Karamtoli Talab were in desperate need of makeovers.

“We don’t know if we will get clean ghats to offer prayers this Chhath. Argora Talab is already dirty even though it was cleaned after Durga Puja,” said local resident Arun Kumar Sahu, adding that if the civic body did not take up the job, local residents would collect money and get labourers to complete it.

Argora Talab is used by residents of Argora, Ashok Nagar and Harmu to offer arghya during Chhath. But the pieces of paper, plastic packets and other wastes floating on the surface of the water would need to go before any religious ritual can be taken up.

At Ranchi Lake and Hatania Talab too, thermocol sheets, plastic packets, polythene et al, have been thrown on the banks, with some of the waste making their way into the water.

This year, vratis will offer arghya on November 19 and 20. While devotees will offer prayers to the setting sun on November 19, they would gather for prayers again at dawn on November 20.

The state capital has nearly 30 ponds where devotees offer prayers. Almost all are properly cleaned every year to help devotees complete rituals without any glitches.

“We had cleaned up all ponds after Durga Puja. If residents cooperate a bit on cleanliness, we will really be very thankful,” said Arun Kumar Singh, general manager of A2Z Waste Management Pvt Ltd, partner agency of RMC.

Singh said he had engaged all his labourers into cleaning the roads in the run up to the Statehood Day celebrations, which is why they could not concentrate on cleaning the ponds. “Besides, we have to wait for Kali Puja immersions to get over. But the ghats will be ready for the November 19 prayers,” he added.

Echoing Singh, mayor Rama Khalko said sprucing up operations would be completed By Sunday evening.

The heaviest rush is witnessed at Ranchi Lake, Argora Talab, Hatania Talab and Batan Talab. Nearly two lakh devotees offer prayers over two days at these ponds.

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