CR Park will celebrate Yamuna-friendly Durga Puja this year | delhi news | Hindustan Times
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CR Park will celebrate Yamuna-friendly Durga Puja this year

This festive season, Durga idols from Chittaranjan Park might not go all the way to Okhla for immersion in the Yamuna. According to a Delhi government proposal, the visarjans (immersion) might happen in the Bengali neighbourhood itself.

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2017 20:49 IST
Ritam Halder
Durga Puja pandals in Chittaranjan Park will immerse Durga idols in artificial ponds instead of Yamuna this year.  The National Green Tribunal in 2015 had banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material such as quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna.
Durga Puja pandals in Chittaranjan Park will immerse Durga idols in artificial ponds instead of Yamuna this year. The National Green Tribunal in 2015 had banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material such as quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna.(Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)

This festive season, Durga idols from Chittaranjan Park might not go all the way to Okhla for immersion in the Yamuna.

According to a Delhi government proposal, the visarjans (immersion) might happen in the Bengali neighbourhood itself.

“We have done a series of meetings with 12 puja committees in Chittaranjan Park, Greater Kailash I, Greater Kailash II and Alaknanda. Also had a meeting with Delhi Jal Board chairman and water minister Rajendra Gautam and have given the proposal of creating artificial ponds in GK II and CR Park. These temporary immersion sites will be on DJB land. Once it happens here, which is almost mini Bengal, it sends a nationwide message and can get replicated,” Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj told Hindustan Times.

According to the local MLA, already many puja committees are on board with the idea. “Organisers such as Milan Samiti, E Block, D Block, Cooperative and GK II are very excited about the idea. The organisers in Alaknanda might also come on board. B Block and Pocket 52 have already been doing this on their own compounds. A few like Mela Ground and Nabapally haven’t agreed. We won’t force anyone but will give them all options,” Bhardwaj said.

A steering committee for this has already been formed with a representative of every puja committee part of it. It will decide on time slots for immersion for different organisers -- 3.30pm, 4.30pm. 5.30pm and so on -- so that congestion because of immersion processions can be avoided.

But some are still sitting on the fence regarding the proposed move. Ashish Datta of the Kali Mandir Samiti says it is an emotional decision, which can’t be taken easily.

“This is a ritual which has been going on for decades. People’s sentiments are involved. The proposal has been given by Bhardwaj and it is true the stretch at Okhla where our immersion takes place has become more of a nallah and there is no remnant of a river. We are still debating it and will take a decision in another 5-6 days,” Datta said.

One of the Mela Ground puja organisers said it was not logistically possible for them to have immersion at a site in CR Park. “Our idols are 15-16ft in height. You need an enclosure, which is over 20ft. Where do we get that here? We can’t dig up our grounds. We will go to the Yamuna for the immersions,” Shekhar Guha of the Mela Ground committee said.

There are 200-odd Durga Pujas, including the NCR towns of Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, which head to the different Yamuna ghats for immersion every year.

The National Green Tribunal in 2015 had banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material such as quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna.

It had said that idol immersion should be done from a designated place so that the river doesn’t get polluted. The bench said it cannot allow the river to get polluted and hence in an earlier order had prohibited throwing of puja material from anywhere, except from designated ghats.