Chhat Devotees Stand Knee Deep, Offer Prayers In Toxic Foam In Polluted Yamuna
Devotees in Delhi performed Chhat pooja on the banks of Yamuna river even as smog had gripped the city and the Yamuna river being covered with a thick layer of foam.
Sea of devotees emerged on Sunday to offer prayers along the banks of Yamuna river to mark the end of the auspicious Chhat. Devotees performed the pooja at the banks of Yamuna river and even took a holy dip in it. Amidst the haze, they offered fresh fruits and flowers to the Sun God. During the pooja, devotees offer water while chanting mantras, while the fruits and flowers are taken back after the ‘aarti’.
The devotees were joined by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari as they also took part in the Chhath Puja prayers or “Arghya” to the sun god early Sunday morning.
The Delhi government had set up around 1100 ghats along the banks of Yamuna, for Chhat Puja. The river remains the largest source of water in Delhi.
However, 19 drains from the capital drop the sewage water in the river contributing to 96 per cent of the total pollutants present. Only 5 per cent of the sewage water is treated before letting it into the river. The sewage water jeopardises not only the health of marine life but also of Delhiites who depend on the river as one of their vital sources of water.
On Sunday morning when the Chhat pooja rituals took place, air pollution levels peaked to a three-year high choking the national capital. The visibility remained poor and impacted road and air traffic. Mr Kejriwal called the situation “unbearable” and said the people of Delhi were suffering for no fault of theirs”. Schools in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad are shut till Tuesday.