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Ahead of Chhath Puja Toxic Foam Seen in Yamuna River

Chhath Puja has officially started today throughout India, but the toxic foam in Delhi's Yamuna River raises concerns about the authorities' level of preparation.

Shruti Kandwal
Toxic foam at Yamuna ghats exposed ahead of Chhat puja
Toxic foam at Yamuna ghats exposed ahead of Chhat puja

Besides pollution, a toxic foam was seen floating in the Yamuna River on Thursday morning in the Kalindi Kunj region. Now people are worried as to how they will celebrate the Mahaparv.

To celebrate the event, the government assigned various ghats along the Yamuna bank to the residents of Delhi-NCR. 

According to LG office sources, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena gave the approval to conduct Chhath Puja in specified ghats on the Yamuna while advising Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against "misleading and premature publicity" over the matter.

The Big Fight: Delhi LG Vs AAP government

According to sources, Kejriwal's tweet a few days ago created confusion amongst people that the puja could be performed anywhere along the Yamuna River.

They said the LG has sanctioned the file on Chhath Puja sent to him but also took note of CM's tweet on 21 October even before the final approval was given.

However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) expressed concern about the LG's use of the chief minister's title in the message and claimed Saxena was "hungry for cheap publicity."

Sources claim that the LG was made aware of the situation and noted it in the file, stating that "the issue's publicity was done even before the matter was brought to my attention and before I could develop an impartial judgement on the matter."

The National Green Tribunal has only permitted puja at "designated sites," according to the note, so the tweet's claim that the "Chhath festival will be conducted on all Yamuna Ghats" is "misleading" and could confuse the general public.

"This is seriously problematic as it violates the basic principles of the scheme of governance.  It goes without saying that premature disclosure of the judgment generates curiosity and subsequently affects the decision-making process independently on the topic, which is particularly sensitive as it relates to the religious practices and beliefs of a significant number of people. Saxena wrote in his file note, "Therefore, it is urged that the Hon'ble CM refrain from such acts in the future, in the larger public interest," according to sources.

In response to this, AAP stated, “We strongly disapprove of the language used by LG for the chief minister. By publicly insulting the chief minister every day, he is degrading the position he holds.”

“The chief minister is an elected official who has been chosen with exceptionally large margins for the third time in a row. The LG has no right to criticize the chief minister in public every day. LG is greedy for cheap publicity and wants to see his name in newspapers every day," according to a statement from the AAP.

The LG office and the AAP dispensation have been at odds over several issues ever since Saxena assumed office in May of this year.

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