Vinai Kumar Saxena, the lieutenant governor of Delhi, has given his approval for Chhath Puja to be held at specified ghats on the Yamuna and has ordered the authorities to guarantee basic amenities as well as sufficient protection.
“Having perused the note of the Minister (Revenue) on pre page as endorsed by Chief Minister, I approve the proposal for allowing “Chhath Ghats” at the “Designated River Yamuna Ghats” subject to the strict adherence to the directions/orders issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and by the National Mission for Clean Ganga in this context. It may also be ensured that the designated Ghats are properly cleaned, basic amenities are provided and security concerns are taken care of,” the Governor said in a statement.
The Lieutenant Governor instructed the concerned authorities to ensure that the aforementioned measures were strictly followed in order to protect the environment.
“Any instance of violation will call for strict penal action as envisaged in aforesaid orders,” he said.
The Delhi government was given a directive by LG Saxena to implement publicity in compliance with the standards for public advertising established by the Supreme Court.
Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister, was also forewarned about early publicity that could be confusing to the general public and is misleading.
“I consider it important to place on record my serious concern regarding the premature publicity made by CM regarding the celebration of “Chhath Puja” on the ghats of River Yamuna vide his tweet dated 21.10.2022 at 1.38 pm,” said Governor said.
“The publicity on the issue was done even before the matter was placed for my consideration and before I could formulate an independent opinion on the subject. This tweet also gives the impression that the “Chhath Festival will be celebrated on all Yamuna Ghats”, which is misleading and may cause confusion in public as NGT has allowed Puja only on the “designated sites” for this purpose,” he said.
According to him, this is quite troubling since it goes against the fundamental tenets of the system of government. It goes without saying that early exposure of the judgment generates curiosity and subsequently affects the decision-making process independently in the topic, which is particularly sensitive as it relates to the religious practices and beliefs of a significant portion of the population.
In the interest of the greater good, the Governor recommended the Chief Minister desist from taking such actions in the future.