Devotees throng Yamuna bank to celebrate 'Chhath'

A large number of people on Wednesday performed Chhath Puja at Yamuna ghats defying the ban imposed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

Let's take a look:

Chhatt underway

Devotees started thronging the river bank to perform rituals earlier in the day.

However, they complained that they were being stopped by the police and civil defence personnel.

The three-day long festival of Chhatt is mainly celebrated by people belonging to Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

During the festival, worshippers offer 'Arghya' to the Sun god and also fast as part of the rituals.


Polluted waterways

Yamuna has been coated with toxic foam adding to the woes of New Delhi residents already enduring a blanket of thick smog over the capital.

The Yamuna is already one of the most polluted waterways in the country. The parts of the river, which courses through the centre of Delhi, were coated in mounds of white foam.


Worshippers offer prayer

The city government blamed the blight on "heavy sewage and industrial waste" discharged into the river from further upstream last week.

However, it did not deter several worshippers from taking a dip in the river to mark Chhath Puja, a four-day festival to offer prayers to the Sun. 


Annual occurrence

Local officials have long pledged to clean the Yamuna but without success, and the blooms of toxic foam have become an annual occurrence. 

A 2020 government report found water quality in the river had become "critically worse" over the last five years.


Trapped under blanket of toxic air

Delhi and its surroundings have also been engulfed in thick and hazardous smog since last week. 

The haze has been compounded by agricultural fires in nearby farming communities and a barrage of fireworks set off by the capital's residents to mark Diwali. 

Levels of harmful PM 2.5 particles have topped 400 in several areas, which is 16 times higher than the daily safe limit set by the World Health Organization. 


Read in App