Calcutta HC turns down West Bengal govt’s review petition, no Chhath Puja rituals at Subhas Sarovar

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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday turned down a review petition filed by West Bengal government seeking permission to conduct Chhath Puja at Subhas Sarovar. Earlier, the Supreme Court had barred Chhath Puja to be conducted at Rabindra Sarovar. 

The court has refused to allow the Chhath Puja rituals at Subhas Sarobar in the eastern part of Kolkata, rejecting a modification application by the West Bengal government. This year there will be no Chhath Puja for people of Kolkata at two prominent places–Rabindra Sarovar and Subhas Sarovar.

The court had earlier disallowed Chhath Puja ceremonies at the sprawling lake in addition to upholding a ban on such activities at Rabindra Sarobar, another waterbody in south Kolkata.

A division bench comprising justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee rejected the state government’s application, observing that apart from the pollution of the water body, there are concerns about coronavirus-related health issues.

The bench said restrictions were also imposed for crowd management to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Durga Puja and Kali Puja. The state government on Thursday moved the high court, seeking modification of its November 10 order banning Chhath Puja rituals at the two lakes. 

The civic authorities in Kolkata have set up several temporary ghats near 16 waterbodies in the city to avoid crowding during Chhath puja celebrations this week, an official told news agency PTI on Wednesday.

At least 44 temporary ghats have been erected along the waterbodies in Kasba, Anandapur, Jadavpur, Patuli belts of the metropolis, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) official had told PTI.

Apart from that, two large artificial brick-made pools have been arranged in Deshapriyo Park and Chetla-Rashbehari Avenue areas to enable devotees to perform rituals on the occasion of Chhath, he had added.

Another official of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board had said two other waterbodies in Dumdum area, on the northern outskirts of the city, have also been readied.

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In Rabindra Sarobar area, where the NGT had clamped a ban on Chhath puja, temporary fencings have been erected along the broken portions of the boundary wall. “We have taken all possible steps to stop the entry of people in the lake area. All gates will be locked on the day of Chhath Puja on October 20,” the official had said.

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