Durga Puja in Delhi: No immersion of idols at public place or in water bodies, rules DPCC
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has issued directions for the Durga Puja festivities in the national capital, which includes, among others, prohibition on the immersion of idols at any public place, or water bodies. “It has been a tradition to immerse idols in water bodies like rivers, lakes, ponds, wells etc. As a result, the pollution of such water bodies has been a matter of concern. In addition to silting, toxic chemicals used in making idols tend to leach out and pose serious problems of water pollution,” a DPCC letter, dated October 13, stated, news agency ANI reported on Thursday.
Here are the SOPs as issued by the pollution control body:
For general public: (1.) Ban on idol immersion at any public place, including River Yamuna, or in any other water body.
(2.) Idols to be kept in a bucket/container, and immersion to be performed within home premises.
(3.) Worship material (like flowers) and decorating material to be removed from the idol before immersion. These should be collected separately for disposal in an environmentally safe manner.
For idol makers/sellers: (1.) Only natural materials, as described in the holy scripts, should be used in making idols. Use of traditional clay for this is permitted, while baked clay, plaster of Paris etc. cannot be used.
(2.) Ideally, painting the idols should be avoided. However, if painting, only water soluble and non-toxic natural dyes should be used. Toxic and non-biodegradable chemical dyes strictly prohibited.
For local bodies/authorities: (1.) General public should be informed about the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) circular, dated September 30, which bans religious functions and other large congregations due to Covid-19.
(2.) Municipal bodies, Delhi Police to check vehicles entering the city carrying prohibited idol as cargo.
(3.) Municipal bodies should issue relevant directions to zonal offices to take action against illegal idol making.
(4.) Delhi Police to issue relevant directions to police officials to take action against violators.
(5.) Biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials should be collected separately for recycling/composting and disposal in sanitary landfills, respectively.
(6.) District Magistrates shall enforce directions pertaining to idol immersion. Violators liable to pay ₹50,000 per default to the DPCC.
(7.) All local bodies to ensure wide publicity of these SOPs, as well as Do’s and Don’ts for the festive season.