Despite court directions, devotees immerse idols in Upper Ganga Canal in Ghaziabad
The ponds were dug up by administration and related agencies at Arthala, Murad Nagar, Loni and Modi Nagar to discourage devotees from directly immersing idols in water bodies.Updated: Sep 04, 2017 22:21 IST
Following the Allahabad high court directions prohibiting immersion of idols in water bodies, the Ghaziabad district administration had dug up ponds at several places in the district to provide alternative to the devotees. However, the devotees on Monday were found directly immersing idols in the Upper Ganga Canal in Murad Nagar.
During the ongoing festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, a number of devotees were seen taking up direct immersion of idols in the Upper Ganga Canal which supplies water to water treatment plants at Pratap Vihar and feed a major population in Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
The ponds were dug up by administration and related agencies at Arthala, Murad Nagar, Loni and Modi Nagar to discourage devotees from directly immersing idols in water bodies.
“There were some complaints received on Sunday and we immediately sent local divers who fished out the idols. We have dug up ponds but the crowd swelled on the last days of the festival. We have roped in the lekhpals and sub divisional magistrates to see that no idol is immersed directly into the water bodies,” said Ramesh Ranjan, officiating district magistrate.
Officials said the ponds were dug in compliance of court directions given time to time to prevent water bodies from getting polluted.
In its interim orders over the PIL in October, 2013, the Allahabad high court had directed, “We are of the view that the administration must find out alternate appropriate places with sufficient water and provide necessary facilities, including the route, road lights etc. for immersion of the idols.”
The court had also directed that its orders be brought to the notice of director general of police, principal secretary (Home) and the chief secretary to ensure all necessary arrangements are undertaken.
Later in September, 2015, the Uttar Pradesh police had also sent directions of the court to all the senior superintendent of police / superintendent of police, in all the districts of the state, to ensure compliance.
The officials said the ponds dug up will be in place during the Durga Puja festivities and no one would be allowed direct immersion of idols or any puja material into the water bodies. Instead, the devotees have been asked to use the dug up ponds for idol immersion.
“The officials must ensure that there is no direct immersion. However, devotees should also take into consideration of the court directions and ensure compliance. The immersion of puja material and idols result in pollution and contamination,” said Vikrant Sharma, an environmentalist.