Chhath Puja Celebrations Permitted At Designated Sites Only, Not On Yamuna River In Delhi


Chhath Puja Celebrations Permitted At Designated Sites Only, Not On Yamuna River In Delhi

DDMA allowed Chhath Puja at designated sites in Delhi, except banks of Yamuna river (Representational)

New Delhi:

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has allowed Chhath Puja celebrations at designated sites in the national capital except the banks of Yamuna river.

The directions were issued in an order released on Friday.

The celebration of Chhath Puja during the month of November shall be allowed only at designated sites outside containment zones with requisite permission from the district magistrate. No site shall be designated on the bank of river Yamuna, the DDMA order said.

The DDMA had on Wednesday given its nod to Chhath Puja in Delhi.

The authority further said designated sites shall be identified and managed by the respective district magistrate in coordination with departments and agencies concerned.

Chhath, celebrated after Diwali by people belonging to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, involves offering of ‘Arghya’ by fasting women to the Sun god in knee-deep water.

The order clearly stated that strict adherence of Covid-appropriate behaviour, which include wearing mask, social distancing, and use of sanitiser, is mandatory.

The order said at designated sites, puja material offered by devotees should be collected by the municipal authorities concerned and other relevant agencies for immediate and proper disposal in a scientific manner.

“All devotees shall be strictly prohibited from throwing puja material like food grain, oil etc into river Yamuna.”

“It shall be ensured that no such material is permitted to join the main stream of river at any point,” the DDMA order stated.

It also asked all organisers of Chhath Puja to submit an undertaking to the district magistrate of the area in respect of strict adherence of the guidelines of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Yamuna Monitoring Committee.

The DDMA order also said that people, including devotees and organisers, will have to follow guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in October last year.

On October 6, 2020, the Union Health Ministry has issued standard operating procedure for festival season where it had said that individuals shall maintain minimum six feet distance in public places.

It had also made mandatory wearing of face masks. It had asked authorities for pre-planning in case of mass gathering and ensure separate entry and exit of visitors.

Earlier, in an order issued on September 30, the DDMA had prohibited Chhath celebrations at public places, including at riverbanks, water bodies and temples, in view of the threat posed by COVID-19.

Following this, the BJP staged protest and also at the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and demanded that Chhath celebrations should be allowed.

Later on October 14, Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to allow Chhath Puja in Delhi.

The DDMA earlier this week allowed Chhath Puja celebrations in Delhi in a meeting attended by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Arvind Kejriwal.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)