Holika bonfire off roads, orders RMC

Plea to not burn wood directly on bitumen

By Animesh Bisoee in Ranchi/Jamshedpur
  • Published 20.03.19, 12:34 AM
  • Updated 20.03.19, 12:34 AM
  • a min read
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Playing ketchup: Students of different colleges play with tomatoes on the eve of Holi at Children’s Park in Morabadi in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

Capital’s civic guardian Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) will act against those who perform Holika Dahan on bituminous roads.

In an advisory issued on Tuesday, RMC asked groups not to burn Holika on roads on Wednesday night as it would not only damage them but also cause traffic snarls.

During Holika Dahan, held on the eve of Holi, branches and straw are lit to symbolise the burning of evil.

In Ranchi, over 30 prominent chowks, including Lalpur, Booty More, Kokar, Kantatoli and others, are likely to have big Holika bonfires. In most, the bonfire is not lit on any elevation but directly on the bitumen surface of the road. Heat causes road surfaces to melt and develop pockmarks. Also, roundabout/ road Holika bonfires pose a threat to commuters.

“We appealed to residents against Holika Dahan on roads, otherwise be ready for prosecution. This has been done to prevent damage to the bitumen and prevent snarls. We asked all residents to conduct Holika Dahan on flanks of roads,” said RMC chief executive officer Manoj Kumar.

A source in the RMC explained the need for this advisory. “In the last one year over 50 roads with a bitumen surface have been constructed by the RMC. Heat of the bonfire will cause cracks on the surface. The extent of the damage will be felt during monsoon when water seeps into the cracks to create potholes,” said the RMC official.

The advisory also appealed to groups to dispose burnt wood in designated municipality vats or at least make heaps on the side to make the job easier for civic waste collectors.

The civic body CEO added that more than a half a dozen RMC enforcement teams would be put on vigil during Holika Dahan. “The teams will warn residents against burning Holika bonfires on the road and suggesting roadside flanks. However, if groups do not relent, they will be prosecuted as per Jharkhand Municipal Act 2011,” he said.

The civic body has also appealed to residents to celebrate a dry Holi with gulal to conserve water in view of the capital’s depleting water table. Every summer, Ranchi has a water crisis.