Left Menu
Development News Edition

Devotees flout NGT order, enter lake premises for Chhath Puja

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 02-11-2019 22:55 IST | Created: 02-11-2019 22:53 IST
Devotees flout NGT order, enter lake premises for Chhath Puja
An official of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) admitted to the forceful entry of "thousands of people" and said it is looking into the matter. Image Credit: ANI

Paying no heed to directives of the National Green Tribunal, several thousand people forced themselves inside the Rabindra Sarobar on Saturday by breaking open locks of its gates to perform Chhath Puja rituals, officials said. The NGT, in a directive to the West Bengal government on October 14, had asked it to ensure that there is no violation of an earlier tribunal order, which banned any kind of ritual for Chhath Puja or other festivals in the waters of the Rabindra Sarobar.

An official of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) admitted to the forceful entry of "thousands of people" and said it is looking into the matter. A police officer guarding one of the gates of the artificial lake said he had tried to reason with the devotees, but they paid no heed to his words.

"We tried to make them understand to not get close to the lake area but in vain. You cannot take any drastic action when there is such a big crowd," the officer said. Around 100 police personnel were deployed outside the gates of Rabindra Sarobar.

When asked about the development by reporters, West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee said: "This has to be looked into by the KMDA and Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which had been entrusted with overseeing the security arrangements. I cannot speak on this issue." Sumita Banerjee, a member of the NGO - Lake Lovers' Forum - said 200 people initially broke open the locks at two gates in the morning and tore notices put up by the KMDA. "As the day progressed, more and more people rushed to the lake area through the other gates. There was a little attempt by police to stop them," claimed Banerjee, who had filed a contempt petition after the 2017 NGT order prohibiting Chhath Puja rituals in the lake was flouted.

Vinod Jha, a devotee who came to the lake for the rituals, said, "We have been performing Chhath Puja at Rabindra Sarobar for decades. We will not go to any other place." Spread over 192 acres, Rabindra Sarovar boasts of rich biodiversity. Somendra Nath Ghosh, an environmentalist, said the materials used in the puja like vermilion and oil heightens the toxicity levels in the lake.

A KMDA official had earlier said all the 15 gates of the Rabindra Sarobar would be locked on November 2 and till 11 am the following day. Last year, too, thousands of people got into the lake area for Chhath Puja festivities...


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

South Africa's COVID-19 response: Surprising outcomes or just poor data management?

South Africa has been committed to improving its health information system and shows that a robust digital has considerable scope to improve healthcare for the entire population. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that significant ga...

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Videos

Latest News

Hockey India, Aaroogya conduct online session for women's players to raise cancer awareness

With October being the breast cancer awareness month globally, Hockey India and the non-profit organization Aaroogya for women cancer Research and Prevention conducted a session via Zoom with the members of the Indian womens hockey team abo...

Kuwait's new emir takes oath, calls for unity at tense time for region

Kuwaits new emir was sworn in at parliament on Wednesday as the country prepared to lay to rest late ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who helped steer the U.S.-allied Gulf state through some of the Middle Easts most turbulent decades.T...

Over one crore COVID-19 tests conducted in UP so far: Yogi Adityanath

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said that the total number of COVID-19 tests has surpassed one crore mark in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of hospitals of Level 1 and Level 2 in six districts of the State,...

CZA issued show-cause notice to Ahmedabad's Great Golden Circus over its recognition, informed Court

The Central Zoo Authority CZA has informed the Delhi High Court that it has issued a show-cause notice to the Great Golden Circus in Ahmedabad regarding the cancellation of its recognition, followed by a report relating to the violation of ...

Give Feedback