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  Metros   Delhi  25 Oct 2017  Chhath Puja begins, ghats decked up

Chhath Puja begins, ghats decked up

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 25, 2017, 1:40 am IST
Updated : Oct 25, 2017, 1:40 am IST

AAP govt announces holiday on Oct. 26; 550 ghats set up.

People buy puja items ahead of Chhath Puja celebrations in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: G.N. Jha)
 People buy puja items ahead of Chhath Puja celebrations in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: G.N. Jha)

New Delhi: Amid strains of folk songs dedicated to the Sun god and the aroma of traditional offerings filling the air, the four-day Chhath festival began on Tuesday with the ghats in the national capital being decked up for devotees. Observed on the sixth day (hence called “Chhath”) after Diwali, it is celebrated to pay obeisance to the Sun as cosmic energy.

Lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal has approved the Delhi government’s proposal to declare Octo-ber 26 a public holiday on the occasion of Chhath Puja in the city, an official said on Tuesday. The Delhi government offices will be shut on October 26 in the national capital. Last year too, the AAP government had declared the public holiday on the occasion of this festival in Delhi.

“The L-G has approved the government’s proposal to declare a public holiday on October 26 on the occasion of Chhath Puja,” the official said.

The festival is mainly observed by the people of Bihar, Jharkhand, and eastern UP. The city has a sizeable population of people from these two states who observe it here on the banks of the Yamuna or in ponds, lakes, and canals. Some of the major ghats include Qudsia Ghat and the ghats at Wazirabad, Sonia Vihar, Najafgarh, and Kalindi Kunj. Various people also observe the festival by converging at parks and gardens where makeshift arrangements are made for the puja.

On Tuesday, markets in the city wore a colourful look with big bunches of bananas and citrus fruits on sale as customers jostled to buy the same.

The Delhi administration and municipal corporations are working to spruce up the ghats and clean the areas around the water bodies to ensure that the festival goes off smoothly.

Meanwhile, development minister Gopal Rai said that the government had developed 565 Chhath ghats across the city which include 50 permanent ghats. The remaining are semi-pucca ghats. Mr Rai said that the AAP government had allocated `20 crore in its Budget for developing the Chhath ghats.

“MLAs, SDMs, assistant engineers, junior engineers will inspects all the ghats in their respective areas and will take stock of situation on October 25 and 26, while the chief minister and all the ministers will inspect the ghats next day, during the celebration,” he said.

Tags: delhi government, chhath festival
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi