Two of the oldest Durga Puja pandals in the city will host green and environment-friendly celebrations for devotees, by continuing their practice of shunning Plaster of Paris (PoP) and non-biodegradable items.
The oldest Durga Puja pandal in Mumbai – Bombay Durgabari Samiti, located at Tardeo, is celebrating its 83rd annual Durga Puja, while the Shivaji Park Bengal Club, is celebrating its 77th annual Durga Puja. Both these will continue to use river bank soil and clay from the Hooghly river in Kolkata to make their idols.
“We stopped using PoP a while ago. Since we order the ornaments and accessories for the idols from Kolkata, we also get the soil and clay from there. The quality of the soil is excellent,” said Chandan Bhattacharjee, chairman, socio-cultural wing, Bombay Durgabari Samiti.
The Samiti will also use biodegradable materials like wood and bamboo cane for pandal decorations. Although using river clay increases expenses, Bhattacharjee said they do not mind as they are committed to a green celebration.
In Dadar, the Shivaji Park Bengal Club will also use clay from the Hooghly river for the idols. “We have already got around 4-5 truckloads of river clay for the pandals. We have also shunned the use of water colours in favour of natural dyes for painting the pandal,” said Prasoon Rakshit, spokesperson, Shivaji Park Bengal Club.