Use of artificial ponds prevented immersion of around 24,000 idols in Yamuna last year
Around 24,000 idols were immersed in artificial ponds across the national capital on Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja last year, according to a government report.
It was the first time devotees immersed the idols in artificial ponds created especially for this purpose since the National Green Tribunal banned idol immersion in the Yamuna in 2015.
As many as 116 artificial ponds were created for idol immersion on Ganesh Chaturthi and 89 on Durga Puja. “Around 24,000 idols were immersed by 2 lakh people on Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja. After the festivals, all ponds were emptied by Delhi Jal Board and cleaned by municipal corporation concerned,” the Divisional Commissioner’s Office said in a report submitted to the NGT-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee.
“This reflects that banning idol immersion in the Yamuna can be effective in preventing contamination of the river,” it said.
As this was the first year of “green” idol immersion, necessary instructions like material to be used and restrictions on dimensions of idols could not be communicated in advance, the divisional commissioner’s office said. “Also registration of idol makers was also not completed in time. This year, necessary guidelines regarding materials to be used and restriction on dimension of idols etc. will be circulated among idol makers as well as puja samitis,” the report said.
On complaints of inadequate water in artificial ponds in some districts, it said the DJB will be sensitized to ensure sufficient water supply.
“Some districts raised the issue of cleaning of ponds and removal of immersed idols and their disposal. MCDs will be sensitized to put a mechanism in place to ensure cleaning of ponds and removal on a daily basis,” it said.
The report also said that people from nearby states had also came to Delhi for idol immersion last year. “It is requested that bordering districts of all neighbouring states be directed to ensure green idol immersion to avoid overcrowding in Delhi and the Yamuna remained clean,” it said. Earlier, a study conducted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee showed that immersion of idols in artificial ponds led to a “significant” decrease in pollution load on the Yamuna River in 2019 compared to 2018, when there were no artificial ponds.