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All gates of Rabindra Sarobar to be locked on Nov 2

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

All the gates of the Rabindra Sarobar lake in the city will be locked in the run-up to the Chhat Puja as the National Green Tribunal has banned puja rituals or any other festivals which might cause pollution, a top KMDA official said on Sunday.

The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority is the custodian of the lake. Last year thousands of devotees had entered into Rabindra Sarobar lake and offered Chhat puja rituals in the waters of the lake.

The official said all the 15 gates of Rabindra Sarobar, from the side of Tollygunje to Dhakuria will be locked in the run-up to the Chhat Puja which will be held on November 2 and 3.

The KMDA official said three alternative waterbodies have been earmarked in south Kolkata for Chhat Puja rituals.

"We have put up boards near the gates of the Rabindra Sarobar lake informing people that entry of devotees will be prohibited from November 2 morning in compliance with the NGT directives," the official said.

The NGT on October 14 directed the state to ensure there is no violation of its 2017 order banning any ritual for Chhat puja or other religious festivals in the Rabindra Sarobar.

She said the Kolkata Police have been asked by KMDA to ensure the revellers are kept away from the gates on November 2 and 3 and told about the alternative arrangements.

Meanwhile, environmentalist Sumita Bandyopadhyay, who had filed a petition at NGT pointing out violation of its 2017 order after Chhat puja revellers entered into the Rabindra Sarobar lake, welcomed the initiative taken by KMDA but said it remains to be seen if they show desired results.

"I hope if the gates are locked and there is security, the revellers won't be able to enter the premises, but there should be round-the-clock surveillance by the KMDA and police," she said.

Environmentalist S M Ghosh said the Chhat puja and other rituals on lake led to rise in toxic level in the waters apart from causing sound and air pollution as the revellers burst fireworks and play loud music.

Also the bright lights put up on poles inside the compound disturb the birds and cause great damage to flora and fauna in the sprawling area, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 20 2019. 20:15 IST