Dwarka ghats readied to host Chhath Puja crowds

Preparations are on full swing for the two-day Chhath puja celebrations at Dwarka’s Chhath Ghat to be held on November 26 and 27.

Authorities are anticipating a bigger rush this year, and have increased the number of ghats in the locality that have been readied.

One of the largest Chhath festival congregations in this part of the city takes place at Sector 11. It is organised by Dwarka Social Religious and Cultural Association. Other major Chhath puja venues are at Sector 8 and Dada Dev Mela Ground, which is organised by Palam Chhath Puja Committee, at Dabri Mor, Bharat Vihar, Kakrola and other places.

All the ghats have been repaired and cleaned. Some new ghats have also been constructed in view of the expectation of a greater rush of devotees this year. What is new this year is that there are some theme based ghats too.

Robin Sharma, president, Dwarka Social Religious and Cultural Association, told City Spidey, “This year, we have four new ghats, and total number has gone up to 20. The number is increasing every year as the popularity is rising.”

All the ghats have changing rooms, toilets, rooms for priests, storing facilities.

Chhath ghat in sector 14

The ghats have been given names of places of historical importance in Bihar, where Chhath Puja is the biggest festival.

There will be an exhibition where Bihar and its culture would be showcased. “This is being done to bring communities together and expose the Delhites to the rich cultural heritage of Bihar,” he said.

At Sector 8 and Dada Dev Mela Ground, preparations are already completed. According to the Puja committee, the ghats will be filled with water tomorrow.

Today, Palam Puja Chhath Committee held a review meeting to take stock of preparations at its ghat at Sector 10. Its president, Amrendra Singh, said, “Today, all the preparations are over. Only decorations and lighting are being done now. Once these are completed tomorrow, water will be filled in.”

At this venue, five new kaccha (temporary) ghats have been prepared. These are in addition to the eight pucca ghats that are already there.

The Delhi government has come out in full support of the Chhath Puja celebrations and has sent enough workers to complete the tasks ahead of time. The municipal corporation from its side has distributed Rs 25,000 to each of the registered Chhath Puja committees.

Inside certain societies, such as Radhika Apartments in Sector 14, the society Chhath Puja committees have made temporary Chhath ghats. In other areas too, such ghats have already been prepared and the committees are busy in arranging other facilities for the devotees.

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Garbage dumping chokes Dwarka drains

Residents of Dwarka in different sectors are in a bind over garbage dumped in drains that’s choking the water flow and adding to the toxic content of the area. It’s posing a serious health hazard for residents living along the drains in sectors 3, 5 11 and 12.

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Floating garbage mounds in the drain present an ugly picture and puncture the claim of civic authorities and their cleanliness sloganeering, say some residents, who complain that no official was responding to their complaints.

Consider this Palam drain that goes through the sectors 3, 5, 11 and 12, or the one called Trunk Drain 5 in sectors 3 and 13 – one can see garbage piles floating in the catchment area of the drain and choking the drain in the process.

A huge mound of garbage can be seen next to a petrol station at sector 11. Several complaints by the residents of flats and societies nearby have failed to yield desired results. “The civic authorities are passing the buck instead of acting on complaints,” said Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of sector 13.

“Behind societies such as Metro View Apartments, Netaji Subhash Apartments in Sector 13, there’s the TD 5, which is full of garbage and filth,” he said adding, “Even the garbage collectors find this place easy to dispose the garbage.”

The civic bodies should act and stop this nuisance, Kumar said.

Durga Pooja Apartment residents called on the mayor of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Kamalijeet Sehrawat, who gave them a patient hearing, but informed them that drains did not come under her jurisdiction. “But she promised help. She said she could act on the grounds of sanitation, which came under her jurisdiction” said RWA president of Durga Pooja Apartments, Ajay Chawdhary.

“Mayor assured us that she would raise the issue of garbage with the concerned officials in the DDA flood division and see if barricading of the drain could be done,” Chawdhary said.

The residents complain that the councillor never visited their area and they were unsure as to whom to approach.

Similar is the situation in societies along the Palam drain. Former general secretary of Adarsh Apartments in Sector 3 of Pocket 16, Uma Shankar, told City Spidey that the issue should be taken up seriously as the practice of dumping garbage has increased. “Authorities must take urgent steps to improve the situation,” he said.

The condition of the Palam drain near a bridge in Sector 11 is a constant source of worry for the residents near the locality.

Sunita Chawla, a resident of sector 11, said, “This is making the already toxic water more toxic and poses a health hazard and damages environment too.”

Civic authorities are making a joke of the Clean India campaign, she said, adding that different bodies continue to throw the ball in each other’s court rather than act while people suffer.

 

Dwarka: DJB admits to sending unverified water bills to residents!

At a meeting between officials of the Delhi Jal Board and Dwarka’s Federation of Cooperative Group Housing Societies, the former accepted that there had been no verification of water bills before they were dispatched to the societies. According to the Federation, DJB had sent wrong bills for water, bore wells and also the rain water harvesting system. Dwarka Breaking News

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After the meeting, which was presided over by Sudha Sinha, general secretary of Dwarka and V Selvarajan, secretary CGHS Federation, a Federation representative told City Spidey that DJB had instructed them not to pay any unverified bills.

“Though they have not given us anything in writing yet they have verbally reiterated this point. They have also added that the penalty imposed on rain-water harvesting systems will be rolled back,” the representative said.

Sudha Sinha said that her society, Delhi Apartments in Sector 22, too had received faulty bills. She added that a penalty had been imposed despite the rain-water harvesting systems in their society being functional. “This is unfortunate. They should have verified the bills properly before sending them to the residents.”

Incidentally, rain- water harvesting does not entail a separate bill. However, people who have rain-water harvesting mechanisms pay a higher consolidated water bill to the DJB. The issue of sending bills without verification of the rain water harvesting systems was also raised last summer in the course of a meeting with the area MLA, Gulab Singh Yadav in the presence of DJB officials. The MLA had assured to solve the problems.

DJB Vice Chairman Dinesh Mohania and the area MLA Gulab Singh Yadav were also present in the recent meeting, the outcome of which was posted on Facebook.

Secretary of Federation of CGHS and a resident of Diamond Square Apartments in Sector 6, V Selvarajan, who was also present at the meeting said, “Everyone knows that Dwarka had water supply issues before 2015. Water supply was mostly through tankers which were duly supplemented with groundwater. However, now that water supply is sufficient, no one is dependent on groundwater. Taxing societies just because bore wells exist now is illogical, unjustifiable and not sustainable.” Now that DJB has accepted that the bills were generated without verification, law abiding citizens have reason to doubt and question the efficacy of its functioning. “We hope that DJB shall be pragmatic in approaching the issues, in terms of both bore well and rainwater harvesting,” says Selvarajan.

Thank god air pollution is just ‘severe’ post Diwali

As expected, there was a sharp rise in Delhi’s air-pollution levels on the morning after Diwali. However, the situation was better than last year, when a blanket of toxic smog engulfed the city, taking air pollution levels to the “emergency category”. In comparison, air quality was tagged at “very poor” on Diwali day, and “severe” on Friday evening, a day after Diwali. Ironically, this is the least hazardous situation in the past three years.

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Despite this, however, many morning walkers, especially senior citizens, decided to stay away from neighbourhood parks for two days after Diwali to avoid inhaling toxic air.

VS Rawat, a senior resident of Parivar Apartments in IP Extension, said, “We spend two hours in the morning and two and a half hours in the evening at the neighbourhood park every day. We walk, do some yoga or just chat with friends and neighbours. But given the poor air quality after Diwali, we decided to stay at home for at least two days, hoping things would get better after that.”

AK Pandey, a resident of Vasundhara Enclave, however, felt this year’s post-Diwali morning was “much better in comparison to last year”. He said, “The Supreme Court’s ban on the sale of firecrackers worked. We hope the air quality will get better in a few days.”

That said, it definitely seems like it has been a cleaner and a less noisy Diwali, if not the pollution-free festival we all hope it will be some day.

This is how Dwarka celebrated Diwali with its police

The community of Dwarka and the police kicked off celebrations with a Diwali Milan at Sector 23 police station with much fanfare. Organised by the Dwarka division of Delhi police, this was a first of its kind attempt to bring the residents and the police in closer communication.

Deputy commissioner of police Shibesh Singh with his team, including DCP Gaurav Sharma, DCP Vichitra Vir Singh, ACP Rajendra Singh and the SHOs of all the police stations of Dwarka, were present for the celebrations.

Tino Dai from Arunachal Pradesh belts out Hindi songs

The residents were represented by Federation of CGHS, FORWAS, Sukh Dukh Ke Sathi, RWAs and other social organisations.

Dwarka councillor A Nitika Sharma was also present on the occasion.

Vijay Gehlot and Vikas Singh from the police regaled the audience with their performances. Gehlot played his mouth organ, while Singh entertained the audience with his mimicry.

On behalf of the community, general secretary of Federation of CGHS, Sudha Sinha, and founder of Melody Foundation, Madhumita Vishwas, performed different film songs based on Rag Yaman. A singer from Arunachal Pradesh, Tino Dai, left the audience spellbound with his performance of Hindi songs.

 

Dwarka: Parks to flash numbers of area police at the gates

To augment safety measures in Dwarka, the police has put up boards with numbers of the area police officials at the gates of several parks across the sub-city.

According to Dwarka ACP Rajendra Singh, the initiative is a first of its kind — and is a way to connect with people more directly.

In talks with City Spidey, he said, “There was a demand from the community to flash the numbers of the local police personnel. In meetings with RWAs and residents, we gathered that the residents wanted the numbers of the beat constable, the sub-inspector and the area SHO. So, we have provided them the numbers. Now, anyone can call them directly in case of any problem.”

RWAs and social organisations have, of course, welcomed the initiative.

The numbers of local police displayed at the gates 

President of FORWAS (Federation of RWAs Sector 9) and president of Ganpati Apartments in Sector 9, Advocate KS Bhati, said, “This is the first time that a step like this has been taken in the sub-city, and we are really happy. Now, senior citizens and the women can feel a bit more safe visiting parks. I think such boards must be put in other public spaces, too.”

Dwarka has more than 300 parks — 168 are under the municipal corporation and the rest under the DDA.

Residents feel such boards must come up in all parks — and must be placed at points that are easily visible.

Maya Kaushal, a resident of Sector 22, and a member of #Safe Dwarka, said, “I use the park of Sector 22 behind the mall. But I haven’t noticed the board at the gate. But I will take a closer look next time I go. The initiative is good, but people must be made aware of the initiative. People must know that there is a board with numbers. Also, it should have some kind of lighting, so people can make out the numbers even in the dark.”

Lights, security and busy markets…this is how Dwarka is getting ready for Diwali

With Diwali right around the corner, the festive fervour is palpable in the subcity of Dwarka.

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The markets are flooded with people as shopkeepers are vying with each other to display the best wares in terms of decoration, gift items and household artefacts and furnishings.

On the practical side, the civic authorities like electricity department and police force are busy fortifying the security measures. Additional policemen have been deployed in the market area and the numbers of barricades have also been increased. Late night patrolling has also been organised as a precautionary run up to the festival of lights.

“We have arranged three tier security in the market areas of Sector 6, Sector 10 and Ashirvad Chowk. CCTV cameras have also been installed. Besides that SHOs of all police stations have been instructed to conduct rounds of the market areas.”

On the other hand, BSES has stepped up lighting arrangements in the public areas of the sub city. They are also trying to ensure that there are no power glitches owing to the festival overload.

SK Dagar, DGM, BSES, said, “Apart from our routine work, we are taking prompt action on the complaints received on our helpline numbers. Feeder boxes are being repaired, and in almost all the sectors maintenance work has now been completed. If there is any electrical fault that needs urgent attention one can contact us on 39999707. This number is printed behind the hardcopy of electricity bills. Also round-the clock special duty staffs have been assigned who can be contacted on 32546079.”

On the sanitation front, the Municipal Corporation has undertaken massive cleaning drives. Vehicles of the corporation are disposing and clearing garbage so that the sub city can usher Diwali on a completely clean and fresh note.