The four-day Chhath Puja celebrations commenced on Wednesday with authorities preparing ghats for devotees to pay obeisance to the Lord Sun from November 20 to 21. Around a million devotees throng ghats for celebrating Bihar’s biggest festival.

Authorities in Patna have appealed to the devotees to perform the puja at their homes to reduce the number of devotees at ghats in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi said police have been deployed at ghats and devotees will not be allowed to commute in their personal vehicles to lessen the crowds. “Hence, there will be no parking facilities at the ghats.”

Ravi said no private boats will be allowed to ferry devotees during the festival. “As a precautionary measure, we have deployed disaster management teams. …officials are looking to implement safety standards at Chhath ghats amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Ghats are getting equipped with basic amenities including drinking water, toilets, and lighting facilities. Barricading is being done for social distancing.”

The Patna Municipal Corporation has started distributing Ganga jal to encourage the celebration of Chhath at homes in view of the pandemic.

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