The four-day Chhath festival began in Bihar yesterday with lakhs of devotees taking holy dip in ponds and rivers before taking traditional meal on the day of 'Nahay-Khay' (ritual bath to purify and eat traditional meal).
Today is 'Kharna' symbolising cooking of kheer for distribution among relatives and neighbours.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also invited guests for 'prasadas' this evening as some of his close relatives too are performing Chhath puja at his one Anne Marg official residence.
RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi are performing Puja in Delhi this time.
"We are leaving no stone unturned to spruce up the ghats along the Ganga river," Patna District Magistrate SK Singh said.
Authorities have made elaborate security arrangements for the festival as also on the ghats, officials said.
Garbage and sewerage are being cleared from roadsides leading to the Ganga ghats and the beautification work is almost complete, officials said.
Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has engaged a machine to do the earthwork for a motorable pathway to the ghat some two kms away from here.
Several motorboats are being engaged to patrol the ghats tomorrow for the protection of devotees. Help of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been sought for the purpose.
Several stalls have come up alongside the roads leading to the ghats to guide the devotees and provide drinking water.
Patna: Authorities on Monday stepped up efforts to spruce up the ghats and ensure adequate security on the banks of rivers and ponds where lakhs of devotees are expected to turn up for performing the Chhath Puja (prayers to sun god) for the next two days.
First Published: Monday, October 31, 2011, 15:18