The Adityapur-based area office of Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) has asked local bodies to ensure that Durga idols are immersed in temporary ponds dug up for the purpose and not in rivers.
Citing National Green Tribunal (NGT) order and subsequent modified Central Pollution Control Board guidelines, JSPCB area officer RN Choudhary in his letter to the Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), Mango NAC, Jugsalai municipality, Chakulia Nagar Panchayat and Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company (Jusco) asked them to dig up temporary ponds for immersion of idols.
The order calls for removal and disposal of left over materials like flowers, decorations, clothes within 48 hours of immersion from the immersion sites. Citing the NGT order on September 4, 2014, the pollution control board has also called for applying synthetic liner on the bed of the temporary ponds and setting up temporary boundaries around them.
The order calls for discouraging use of plaster of Paris in idol making, use of chemical colours and encourage use of natural materials like clay and bio-degradable materials. Seeking a compliance report within a week, the JSPCB area officer has asked to locate these temporary ponds for immersions near banks of rivers, lakes or dams.
East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal told HT that a copy of the JSPCB guidelines was sent to all the puja committees on Tuesday and the onus of its compliance was on JSPCB regional office and local body authorities. “Hope this would spread awareness among people about the ill-effects of immersion in rivers, use of chemicals and sound pollution,” said Kaushal.
This has put both the organisers of about 400 Dura Puja pandals in the city and local body authorities in a spot of bother as only a little time is left to identify suitable sites for temporary ponds.
“We’re trying to find suitable locations around a dozen ghats alongside Kharkai and Subarnarekha rivers here. Most of the ghats fall in JNAC command area where vacant land is hardly available. With festivities set to start from October 18, we don’t have time on our side,” JP Yadav, special officer, Mango NAC, told HT.
Ram Babu Singh, general secretary, Kendriya Durga Puja Committee, a joint forum of above 300 licensed puja committees in the city, said they would meet the DC and sub-divisional officer to discuss the issue.