KOLKATA: The city spent one of the most silent and sombre Chhath Pujas on Friday, without crackers and loud music. Both the city police and state pollution control board (PCB) said they didn’t hear of any major violation across the city.
A few stray incidents aside, mostly related to loud music than crackers, the PCB stated its complaint line has not even registered a single complaint on Friday. Last year, there were around 15 complaints by late evening on the first day of Chhath.
Cops, who were on duty at the ghats, said they did not hear any music or cracker, a first in nearly a decade. “Even the customary dancing was missing this year as music — even if played — was regulated and without DJs,” said an officer on duty at Nimtolla Ghat.
“Chhath is an auspicious festival. The rituals around prayers being offered to the setting sun on the third day of Chhath and rising sun on the fourth day are supposed to take place in a serene atmosphere. But over the past few years, we have witnessed the use of firecrackers and loud music. They do not go with either our tradition or culture. That’s why in many ways, this Chhath was better than others in the recent past,” said Bihari Samaj secretary Ranvir Singh.
The association, which has over 20,000 members, urged revellers to maintain Covid guidelines and refrain from bursting crackers and playing music.
Cops said they had been monitoring the vehicles enroute to the ghats. “We ensured they did not carry crackers or DJ. We had been seizing crackers in all these neighbourhoods. However, our appeal to the revellers is working and we are happy that the community stood by us,” said an officer at Lalbazar. Good news poured in even from districts, where complaints were minimum. Most complaints from Howrah and Hooghly were regarding loud music.
The only stray complaints — one regarding crackers and two others on loud music were lodged in Behala’s Silpara, Sevak Baidya Street near Lake and Barabagan in Barisha.