Hundreds of Durga idols were immersed at around seven Yamuna ghats across the national capital on Tuesday, with authorities trying to ensure that non-biodegradable items do not make it to the already polluted river.
Showing the way forward, the Chittaranjan Park Durga Puja Samiti of B Block, immersed their eco-friendly idols in an on-site water pit on Tuesday.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will analyse the impact of the immersions on Yamuna’s toxic and foamy water by resorting to pre and post water quality check, an official of the Delhi environment department said.
“DPCC had conducted similar checks during the immersion of Ganesha idols. The level of contamination will be checked apart from measuring Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels,” the official said.
Water activist Manoj Mishra said the National Green Tribunal strictly prohibited immersions at places other than designated spots. Pollution control bodies have already banned idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP), he said.
Sudipto Barua, who conceptualised the design of the green pandal in CR Park, said that two pits were built on site for the visarjan. “Goddess Durga was immersed in the smaller pit, while idols of Lord Ganesh, Lord Karthik, Goddess Saraswati, and Goddess Lakshmi were immersed in the larger water pit.”
The idols, built entirely of clay on a bamboo framework and detailed with organic vegetable dyes, were immersed at around 6 pm on Tuesday. “Once the clay dissolved, we removed the bamboo framework, and the different astras from the water pit,” said Barua. “The bamboo and the non biodegradable astras will be reused or recycled.”
Environmental activists and green brigades all around have been calling for eco-friendly alternatives for visarjan that would save our planet, and especially its rivers.
Anumita Roychowdury, executive director, centre of science and environment, earlier said initiatives that use biodegradable materials to build idols and pandals should be incentivised.
Revenue department DC, SK Jha, also reiterated they were trying to encourage more people to embrace greener alternatives.
The traffic remained heavy on important stretches in Delhi owing to Dussehra and the idol immersions. Stretches leading to the various ghats were choked as hundreds of trucks and other vehicles bearing the idols headed to the Yamuna.
Major roads and areas such as Mandir marg, Panchkuian Road, Kashmere Gate, Chandgi Ram Akhara, Minto Road, Rajghat, Outer Ring Road, and Wazirabad bridge witnessed heavy traffic, police said.
The processions comprising several types of vehicles congregated at Kudesia Ghat, Geeta Ghat, Shyam Ghat, Kalindi Kunj, Chatth Puja Ghat and Chilla Ghat for immersion of the idols.
“Anticipating a high turnout today, we made elaborate arrangements to monitor traffic. There was heavy deployment of traffic personnel in the areas surrounding Kudesia Ghat, Geeta Ghat and other places where immersions happen,” a police officer said.