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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Idol immersions in ponds keep Yamuna water clean

The practice of immersing idols in artificial ponds was also followed during Durga puja, which concluded on October 8. However, the report on the water quality is awaited.

delhi Updated: Oct 12, 2019 13:41 IST
Vatsala Shrangi
Vatsala Shrangi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The efforts for successful immersion in artificial ponds were made jointly by Delhi Police, municipal bodies as well as the Delhi government, he added.
The efforts for successful immersion in artificial ponds were made jointly by Delhi Police, municipal bodies as well as the Delhi government, he added. (PTI image)
         

Water quality in the Yamuna has “improved” this year, as for the first time idol immersion during Ganesh Chaturthi festival was conducted in artificial ponds instead of the river, a study by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) as revealed.

The practice of immersing idols in artificial ponds was also followed during Durga puja, which concluded on October 8. However, the report on the water quality is awaited.

As the number of Ganesh idols immersed in the Yamuna was negligible this year, the value of heavy metals and other pollutant in the river — such as total suspended solids (TSS), bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), among others, have “reduced significantly” in comparison to that of 2018, the report said.

“This year the water quality in the Yamuna has remained almost the same pre and post-immersion, as idols were not immersed in the river. Last year, post-immersion there was a steep rise in the level of pollution in the river. Also, the river is somewhat cleaner this year because of an extended monsoon,” said a senior DPCC official.

For instance, at Kudsia Ghat, where a large number of idols are usually immersed every year, levels of heavy metals have come down to 0.97 milligrams per litre (mg/l) this year from 3.51mg/l in 2018. Similarly, BOD levels reduced to 8 mg/l from 18 mg/l last year and COD levels have come down to 28 mg/l from 60 mg/l.

“Heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, which is mainly found in chemical paints used for decoration of idols damage water bodies. Their levels have come down this year, when compared to last year. This has set an example for the future. We expect a similar kind of result for Durga Puja idol immersion as well, the report for which is yet to come,” the official said.

The efforts for successful immersion in artificial ponds were made jointly by Delhi Police, municipal bodies as well as the Delhi government, he added.

Manoj Misra, convener, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, said, “This is a welcome step and shows the way forward. However, there is a long way to go in terms of the overall health of the river, which is not good and there is a continuous flow of sewage and chemical effluents that has to be contained.”

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 22:31 IST

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