Five makeshift ghats for fest

The civic body on Thursday started developing five temporary ghats at Khajekala, Chimni, Quila, Jhauganj and Pathar after the district administration declared 22 spots along the Ganga dangerous for offering arghya to the Sun god.

"The course of Ganga has shifted at several ghats. Walking up to the river from such ghats is unsafe because of puddles along the sandy stretch. So we have started developing temporary ghats or ponds at five places, declared dangerous by the district administration. The temporary ghats at Khajekala, Quila, Jhauganj and Pathar would spread over an area of 50ftx50ft. The one at Chimni Ghat would be 150ftx150ft," said a senior Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) officer.

The district administration on Wednesday declared 22 ghats dangerous for the Chhath rituals. Digha Patipul Ghat, Minar Ghat, Ramjichak Tarkaria Bazar Ghat, Jehaj Ghat and Ramjichak Digha Ghat were identified as dangerous in Patna sadar subdivision. The dangerous ghats in Patna City subdivision include Dulli Ghat, Adarsh Ghat, Mitan Ghat, Sita Ghat, Chimni Ghat, Quila Ghat, Kachchi Ghat, Adarakh Ghat and Nandgola Ghat. Supply Depot Ghat, Pipa Pul Ghat, Kali Ghat, Sidhi Ghat, Daldali Ghat, Nariyal Ghat, Nasariganj Ghat, BS College Ghat, Jhunjhunwala Ghat, Thana Par Ghat and Dhobi Ghat in Danapur subdivision were also declared dangerous.

Besides the construction of the makeshift ghats, the civic body officials are busy these days monitoring the repair work at the ghats identified as "safe" for the devotees.

"The cleaning of the ghats is going on at war-footing. We have also started the engineering-related works. Banks are being levelled through sand-filling. Barricades are being erected in the water with bamboos. Approach roads and bamboo bridges are being erected at several ghats. All these works would be over latest by November 18," said the PMC officer, adding that the civic body would not operate its pump-houses on the nights of November 18 and 19 to ensure that sewerage water was not discharged in the Ganga during the festival.

While the civic body is busy in shaping up the ghats, around 20 private firms, including Axis Bank, Dena Bank, Bank of India and ICICI Bank, have adopted several ghats for the Chhath festival. They would undertake works related to light and sound, lavatories and changing room among others. Arrangements would also be made for sufficient parking space at all the ghats where the Chhath rituals would be performed.

Local volunteers would also make lighting arrangements at various ghats on November 19 and 20.

One company each of State Disaster Relief Force and National Disaster Relief Force would be patrolling the river on the festival days.

Each company comprising 100 highly trained personnel would patrol the river on 32 motorboats. A medical team, along with two divers, would be pressed into service at all the ghats.

Adequate police force would also be deployed.