There is no end to restrictions on Hindu festivals in the national capital Delhi by the Arvind Kejriwal led AAP govt. After banning Diwali firecrackers and Chhath Puja celebrations, the state govt has now banned idol immersions for the ongoing Durga Puja.
In an order issued by The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Wednesday, immersion of idols have been completely banned in public places and water bodies, including the heavily polluted Yamuna River, to prevent water pollution.
“On festive occasions such as Durga Pooja. etc., it has been a tradition to immerse idols in water bodies like rivers, lakes, ponds, wells etc. Consequent 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. Studies carried out to assess deterioration m water quality due to idol immersion reveal deterioration of water quality in respect to conductivity, biochemical oxygen demand and heavy metal concentration,” the order issued by the chairman of the committee says.
The order states that Idol immersion will not be allowed during the “forthcoming” Durga Puja in any public place including River Yamuna or any other water body, public place, ponds, ghats etc. It says the Idol Immersion ritual may be performed in homes in a bucket/container etc. Those who violate the order by immersing idols in water bodies will be fined Rs 50,000 per default.
Interestingly, the order states Durga Puja is ‘forthcoming’ whereas the festival had already started before the order was issued yesterday, and is concluding tomorrow with the idol immersions.
The order also issues directions on how the idols should be made, when the idols were already made weeks ago and are scheduled for immersion tomorrow on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. It says that idols should be made only from natural materials like traditional clay, and used of Backed clay, Plaster of Paris etc are prohibited.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee order further directs the Delhi Police to check the entry of vehicles entering into Delhi carrying “prohibited idols” as their cargo.
Durga Puja Idol Immersion in River Yamuna was banned in Delhi in 2019 and 2020 also, but the river remains one of the most polluted rivers in the country.