Delhi: Chhath Puja Committee meets Gopal Rai to reconsider ban on 'community celebrations at ghats'

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Bhavna Gaur, MLA, Palam, New Delhi. (Photo/ANI)
Bhavna Gaur, MLA, Palam, New Delhi. (Photo/ANI)

By Amit Pandey

New Delhi [India], November 12 (ANI): A delegation of the Chhath Puja Sangharsh Samiti on Thursday met Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai after the AAP government decided to ban community Chhath festivities at the ghats this year to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Delhi Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) has ordered that Chhath Puja will not be held at any public place this time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The DDMC has suggested that people can worship and celebrate the festival in private places.

People from Purvanchal are not happy with this decision of the Delhi government and a delegation of the Chhath Puja Sangharsh Samiti met Rai to reconsider their decision. The delegation included Bhavana Gaur, Aam Aadmi Party's MLA from the Palam constituency.

After the meeting, Gaur said that the delegation had met the Environment minister and asked him to reconsider the decision of banning the Chhath puja in public places and also said that this festival is related to the faith of Purvanchali people.

"We have requested them to allow the festival to be held in a limited number of gatherings with some rules in place. Gopal Rai has given us the assurance that he will talk to the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor regarding the same," the MLA said.

"The government should formulate some rules for Chhath Puja and this ban should be lifted at the earliest. People wait for the whole year for Chhath Puja and it is a matter related to their faith. There was a similar problem during Ramlila but the government found a solution. Similarly, solutions can be found in this case too. We are in alignment with the government in matters of safety. We are requesting to give us permission with implementation of guidelines and allow only 20 people instead of 100," Mukesh Sinha, Chhath Puja Sangharsh Samiti member, told ANI.

The COVID-19 cases have rapidly increased in the national capital and touched a new peak by crossing 8,000 positive cases in the past 24 hours. It recorded 8,593 new positive cases and 85 deaths on Wednesday while 7,264 patients recovered from the infection. The death rate so far stands at 1.57 percent while it remained at 0.99 per cent in the last 10 days.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said: "In view the of safety and to avoid crowd gathering amid the pandemic, we have decided to ban community Chhath Puja celebrations near the ghats this year. The officials have been directed to take strict action against people not following COVID-19 protocols." (ANI)