Kolkata: For Chhath devotees, no road leads to Subhas Sarobar – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: Subhas Sarobar turned into a veritable fortress since Friday morning as the authorities—police and lake custodian KMDA—deployed heavy security around the premises, locked the gates and made the roads leading to the lake out of bounds to Chhath devotees. While Chhath used to be observed there amid much fanfare till last year, this year turned out to be different, as peace reigned at the lake off E M Bypass, where no devotee mad any attempt to enter.
A core team of 90 officers, led by DCPs—DC (ESD) Ajoy Prasad, DC (5th battalion) Rahul De and DC (Traffic-II) Namroz Khan—along with eight ACPs kept a watch throughout the day. Three DCPs took guard at three approach points on EM Bypass, Narkeldanga Main Road and Suren Sarkar Road. “Single and double barricades were set up. We got assurance from community members that they were happy with the alternative arrangements and will follow the rules on Saturday morning as well,” said an officer. A special watch was maintained on Suren Sarkar Road, where double barricades were set up on both ends and vehicles were diverted from Bypass as well as Narkeldanga Main Road. While a number of trucks carrying devotees were sent towards Nimtala Ghat, the Bidhannagar police diverted several vehicles towards Sector V. Inside Subhas Sarobar, besides cops, about 40 private guards and 10 women guards were deployed by KMDA. Cops from Narkeldanga and Muchipara police stations will request residents of the area to observe Chhath at home on Saturday. Subhas Sarobar will be shut till 3pm on Saturday.

Police said they did extensive groundwork to ensure the court ban order was implemented. “The most important part was to study last two years’ routes taken by devotees and places they came from. We went there and spoke to community elders and local political leaders. The support we received from the community was the biggest takeaway,” said a senior officer. A local club in the vicinity—Narkeldanga Sebaknagar Nabayubak Brinda—set up a few temporary reservoirs for neighbours to perform the rituals there. “We used to visit Subhas Sarobar but this time, the situation was different, what with the court order and the pandemic. We performed the rituals at alternative sites, and the arrangements were satisfactory,” said a devotee. At the behest of Bidhannagar MLA and fire minister Sujit Bose, temporary ghats were set up at ponds in Duttabad and Dakshindari area. Bose visited some of the ghats on Friday.
For people living near Subhas Sarobar, it was a welcome change. “The lake premises used to be littered with puja leftovers and burnt fire crackers and offerings would float in the eater. It is good it was spared this time,” said a resident.
Activists were glad with police and KMDA action. “Thanks to Kolkata Police for prompt action. The state government successfully tackled the situation,” said green activist Somendra Mohan Ghosh.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/for-devotees-no-road-leads-to-subhas-sarobar/articleshow/79330800.cms