Chhath Puja 2021: Allow celebrations on Yamuna banks, AAP MLA writes to Delhi LG

Chhath Puja 2021: Chhath Puja celebrations cannot cause pollution in Yamuna, so allow the devotees to perform the rituals on the banks of river, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Sanjeev Jha has written to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

In a letter to the Lt governor, Jha said Chhath Puja celebrations cannot cause pollution in the river as the devotees clean the ghats (river banks) to perform the rituals. He also sought an appointment from the LG to discuss the issue with him.

“I have requested Lt governor to allow Chhath puja on the banks of the Yamuna river because people who believe in Chhath puja clean the ghats and the rivers before performing the rituals,” Jha said, adding that Chhath puja “never causes” pollution in Yamuna.

This comes just a day after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said that Chhath puja celebrations will be allowed only at designated sites in the city, except on the banks of the river Yamuna.

In his letter to the Lt governor, the AAP leader noted the DDMA has stated that Chhath Puja cannot be celebrated on the banks of the Yamuna. “Whereas, every year, Delhi’s Purvanchalis observe Chhath puja on the banks of the Yamuna,” he contended.

Jha said that the divisional commissioner told him at a meeting that Chhath puja cannot be celebrated on the banks of Yamuna “because it increases the level of pollution in the river as it happens during Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga puja celebrations”.

“I want to tell you that on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja, idol immersion takes place in the river, whereas Chhath Puja is a festival which is celebrated completely in nature’s companionship,” the AAP MLA said in his letter to Baijal. 

The celebration of Chhath Puja 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 on Friday. 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. 

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.

The four-day Chhath Puja this year falls on November 8-11. 

With agency inputs 

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