Patna: Less than a week after he carried out a survey of Patna ghats ahead of the Chhath festival, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday embarked on yet another boat ride on Ganga to review works going on at various ghats by the River Ganga to ensure his orders were being carried out and no stone was being left unturned to ensure the safety of the devotees.
Kumar, who was accompanied by Patna Mayor Sita Sahu, Road Construction Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nand Kishore Yadav, Water Resources Minister Lallan Singh and a host of district administrators, directed the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCO) and Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials to finish repair work on approach roads and to ensure the lanes were adequately lighted at all times so low visibility was not an issue anymore.
The Chief Minister also suggested replacing slopes with concrete steps at all ghats to avoid injuries caused by slippery mud. Officials told him that work on barricading the ghats to separate the safe zone from danger zone would be completed by Tuesday and installation of street lights was also almost finished as the clean-up process of ghats considered safe continued round-the-clock to ready them for the first arghya on Tuesday.
The CM was accompanied by cabinet colleagues Nand Kishore Yadav and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and Patna mayor Sita Sahu.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi also carried out a separate survey of ghats of his own directing officials to place trash cans at every nook and corner of the streets leading to the ghats and also at the place of puja in order to keep ghats clean before, during, and after the conclusion of Chhath puja.
Modi also emphasized the need for the presence of divers, para-medical experts and doctors through the entire four-day event to deal with emergency of any kind. Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Abhishek Singh told the Deputy CM that 17 ponds in the state capital had been designated safe for the Chhath festival.
"We have created eight new ponds for the purpose along with renovating 17 existing ponds in the city. Mixed with water brought from the Ganga, we encourage devotees to use these ponds to avoid rush at the ghats," Singh said.
Interestingly, Shatrughan Sinha, BJP leader and MP from Patna Saheb, after recently being snubbed by the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah team during the 100th anniversary celebration of Patna University, also conducted his own survey of the ghats on Sunday.
Sinha had been criticized by his own party members of abandoning his constituents for a long period of time only visiting Patna when it served his own purpose. He has earned the wrath of his party leaders for being too chummy with BJP's arch rival Lalu Prasad Yadav and going against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on many occasions.