Days after BJP-led municipality declared a holiday next Monday for Chhath, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit too focussed on this festival, celebrated by Delhi’s Poorvanchali community.
People from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar settled in Delhi, informally called Poorvanchalis,constitute nearly a fourth of the city’s electorate, making Chhath politically important.
Dikshit met a large delegation of Poorvanchalis on Wednesday to discuss issues related to Chhath celebrations and the betterment of the community.
Dikshit is said to have assured the delegation that her government would do everything possible to make Chhath a grand success.
According to a press statement from Dikshit’s office, the government has assured it would consider construction of uniform, standard ghats on disused irrigation canals and make Maithili Bhojpuri Academy more effective.
She also told the delegation she would contact the Union Railways Minister to start more special trains to facilitate large number of Poorvanchalis heading to their hometowns for celebrations.
The government claimed that a large number of Poorvanchalis settled in unauthorised colonies were elated over regularisation of their colonies.
Dikshit said: “The demands raised by the delegation relates to overall development and construction of more Chhath ghats, for which a well conceived action plan is needed. The government is keen to ensure all amenities at ghats in order to provide an atmosphere of joyful celebration of Chhath puja.”
The delegation also demanded that dried up ponds should be revived for use during Chhath, adding it would also help improve the underground water level.
Dikshit said she has already taken up with the Haryana government the issue of releasing water for ghats in Delhi.
“We have set up Maithili Bhojpuri Academy in order to promote and enrich cultural and social values of Poorvanchalis. There would be no dearth of funds for making the academy more purposeful and effective. The government will not hesitate in reconstituting the academy to ensure presentation of more programmes in Maithili and Bhojpuri across Delhi,’’ she said.