Kolkata: The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is taking all possible measures to adhere to the guidelines of the National Green Tribunal that has ordered a ban on any sort of Puja or social activities at Rabindra Sarobar Lake. In the last few years, there have been allegations of pollution of the waterbody particularly while observing the rituals of Chhath Puja. The KMDA has already earmarked two alternative sites — one near Nonadanga at the backside of Fortis Hospital and another at Baishnabghata Patuli Jheel for observing rituals of the Chhath Puja and work is on at full swing to develop the infrastructure. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSenior KMDA officials organised a convention held at Nazrul Manch on Friday involving the local community and NGOs who have been working for a pollution-free Rabindra Sarobar. “The Rabindra Sarobar has been included in the list of 100 most important lakes in the country and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that the NGT orders are obeyed. This is our heritage and we are committed to ensure that the air quality and the water quality is at its best,” said Antara Acharya, CEO of KMDA. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayBaiswanor Chatterjee, chairman of Borough VIII under which the waterbody falls, said around 30,000 devotees have been observing Chhath rituals at the lake every year. The KMDA officials asked KMC councilors of the wards under the Borough to furnish a ward-wise list of the people so that transport arrangements can be made to take the devotees to alternative ghats that have been earmarked. Three ghats are being readied at the waterbody at Nonadanga while one at Patuli. The KMDA officials urged the councilors present in the meeting to submit the details of the pamphlets or similar campaign materials that they need to carry out awareness about restrictions at Rabindra Sarobar and observance of rituals at the two alternative venues. The KMDA wants to ensure awareness right from the Durga Puja celebrations. “After the Durga Puja, there will be campaigns through print, electronic and other media platforms too,” a senior KMDA official said. The officials also sought suggestions from environment experts and the community so that their initiatives can prove to be more fruitful. President of Rashtriya Bihari Samaj Mani Prasad Singh suggested there should be arrangements for cleaning up the two selected waterbodies immediately after the ritual to prevent pollution which was welcomed by the KMDA. Suggestions for fencing a particular area and urging the devotees to perform puja in that earmarked space also came up. It may be mentioned that the NGT has imposed ban on littering in or around the lake, bathing in its water, using excessive bright lights around it, washing clothes or utensils, emitting sounds that disturb the birds in the area including entering the lake premises with any kind of plastic bag.
New Delhi: Credit card payments to buy fuel at petrol pumps will from October 1 not get a 0.75 per cent discount that state-owned oil companies had introduced more than two-and-a-half years back to promote digital payments. An industry official said the oil companies have decided to discontinue the discount on all credit card payments from October 1. However, the discount on debit card and other digital modes of payments would continue, he said.