The Telegraph
Friday , November 7 , 2014
 

A new ghat in Bally

A new ghat on the Hooghly canal known as Bhag Khal near Bally’s Ramchandrapur was inaugurated by the state irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee on October 29, the eve of Chhat Puja. The ghat was a long standing demand of the local people, who used to bathe in the khal. At least five people had drowned in the canal in the last 10 years in the absence of a ghat.

The 100 feet long and 60 feet wide ghat on the canal is illuminated and a concrete road from the ghat to Ramchandrapur Road helps people to commute comfortably. There are separate areas for men and women for bathing at the ghat and there are changing rooms too for women. The ghat is divided into three sections by steel railings. One section is used for immersion of idols.

“Hundreds of people of Ramchandrapur bathe in the canal all round the year. Since there was no ghat, it was dangerous to bathe in the canal. Now that the ghat has been built they will not face any problem in bathing and changing,” said Ram Santra, pradhan, Durgapur-Abhaynagar gram panchayat.

He said that there was acute water scarcity in the area that forced a large number of people to bathe in the canal, particularly during summer. “There is a big pond in our locality. But it has turned dirty as water from the toilets drained out into the pond. So we have to bathe in the canal. We are happy that the ghat has been built. Now we can bathe comfortably,” said Bhaskar Goldar, a resident of Ramchandrapur.

He said that during summer most of the wells in the area turn dry. “We have no potable water connection. We entirely depend on the wells. When the wells go dry we have to go to the canal for a bath,” he said.

The Biharis of Ramchandrapur are also happy with the new ghat because they were able to offer Chhat Puja comfortably this year on a clean bank with sufficient lights. “Previously, we had to do Chhat Puja on the dirty banks of the canal in darkness. We are happy this year we offered puja in a clean and illuminated ghat,” said Vanohari Debi, a resident of Choto Durgapur.

The puja committees are also happy as they will be able to immerse the idols in the canal. “At least 16 community Durga Pujas and several Kali Pujas are organised within the Durgapur-Abhaynagar gram panchayat. Next year at least eight puja committees can immerse idols in the new ghat,” said a member of a puja committee.