Guidelines for pollution-free Chhath Puja in Siliguri

Guidelines for pollution-free Chhath Puja in Siliguri
Darjeeling: The Darjeeling district administration issued directives for Chhath Puja organisers in Siliguri on Thursday. According the directives, no construction will be allowed inside rivers, the river bed cannot be dug up, the course of the river cannot be altered, earth-cutting and moving machines can't be used in river beds without permission and such machines can be used only for cleaning purposes following National Green Tribunal guidelines.

A meeting was called by the district administration along with the municipal corporation, police, other concerned departments and Chhath Puja organisers. "In Thursday's meeting, we apprised the organisers of the NGT stricture. Monitoring teams, comprising personnel from various departments are keeping a close tab. Two earthmoving machines were seized on Wednesday for flouting norms," said Siliguri sub divisional officer Sumant Sahay. On the day of the Chhath Puja, monitoring teams will be deputed in all ghats along with civil defence volunteers and divers. "All measures are being adopted to ensure a peaceful and incident free puja. We are deputing civil defence volunteers and divers to prevent any untoward incident," said the SDO.

With permission issued for the construction of Chhath ghats, organisers made preparations at Lalmohan Moulik Niranjan ghat, Santoshinagar ghat and Noukaghat in Siliguri. "We will ensure a pollution-free Chhath Puja as per the guidelines of the NGT. The district administration, police and all concerned departments are taking adequate measures," said state Tourism minister Goutam Deb. Apart from Mahananda, Chhath Puja is also organised on the banks of Panchnai, Mahishmari, Jorapani and Balasun rivers. "Religious festivals have to be held but they should adhere to guidelines of the NGT. Even religious organisations have a duty to protect nature. The district administration has to ensure that green laws are followed," said Animesh Bose of Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation.

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The Darjeeling district administration issued directives for Chhath Puja organisers in Siliguri on Thursday. According the directives, no construction will be allowed inside rivers, the river bed cannot be dug up, the course of the river cannot be altered, earth-cutting and moving machines

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