Haridwar (Uttarakhand) [India], March 22 (ANI): The holy city of Haridwar is abuzz with people who have congregated here for the Kumbh, a major pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism. The revered ghats along the pious river Ganga are perennially vibrant with hymns and prayers.
To facilitate the pilgrims congregating for the mega religious event, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has made special arrangements and has ensured a meticulous makeover of the ghats.
At 'Har ki Pauri', elevated electronic chairs have been installed for physically disabled pilgrims to easily reach the ghat. New changing rooms, steel railing at the bathing area have also been installed.
For the convenience of pilgrims, eating areas and organised structures of religious retail shops have been set up. The entire Haridwar city wore a colourful look with the initiative of 'Namami Gange'
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, the Director-General of National Mission for Clean Ganga said "Ghats are very important for Kumbh. So, we also took up a major project with the help of the Indian Oil Corporation for the improvement of Har ki Pauri. Various Ghats and various facilities in Har ki Pauri. We have also developed a new Ghat, rather than a riverfront, which is at Chandi ghat. We call it Chandi Ghat and that has become popular. It is giving another front to people to take bath. I think we have added new public space, a new riverfront in Haridwar."
"The National Mission for Clean Ganga has completely renovated Har Ki Paudi complex where the devotees will throng in a big way during the upcoming Kumbh in April 2021. The riverfront complex by the name of Chandi Ghat has also come up on the other side of the bank of the river, and it has a wonderful promenade also, ghats, crematorium and the most unique thing is that first of its kind Ganga Museum has come up at Chandi Ghat," said Rozy Agarwal, the Executive Director (Finance), National Mission for Clean Ganga.
Devotees have hailed the government efforts saying the transformation has made the site even more endearing.
"I have been visiting Haridwar for the last 15 years but the beautification and cleanliness at the ghats showcasing the remarkable step for tourists and pilgrims coming to Haridwar," said Vinod, a devotee.
"At least 500 to 1000 people gather for food on the premises as there were no such facilities in the past. An elevated chair has also been installed at the Har-Ki-Pauri ghat for tourists to take holy dips. Street lights and the fences on the banks of Ganga are also installed for the purpose to provide proper vision at ghats," a contractor, Sachin Gupta informed the ANI.
Under the Namami Gange Programme, new ghats are also being constructed to facilitate the pilgrims.
Decked with murals painted by the world's renowned artists, the Chandi Ghat accommodates 10,000 people at a time. It was built at a cost of around 70 crores by the National Mission for Clean Ganga.
The Ghat is among the 36 projects launched recently across the state of Uttarakhand.
The Chandi ghats are equipped with state-of-the-art river protection works, intake well, chlorinator, overhead tank and water supply network and an outspread parking space.
'Ganga Avlokan' the first-ever Ganga museum has also been developed at this ghat. The idea is to rope in a common man towards the conservation of the Ganga through education.
The museum showcases the habitat, the biological and cultural diversity of the river Ganga. (ANI)