Post immersion,Yamuna choking with idol debris
NEW DELHI: At the end of the five-day long Durga Puja festival when citizens are all set to get back to their mundane routine, the Yamuna river is chocked with the debris and waste materials. Violating all the restrictions of idol immersion, the ritual took place at the only water body of Delhi in absence of any monitoring from the state government and allied agencies.
Hundreds of devotees gathered on the banks of river Yamuna in Kalindi Kunj and Geeta Colony after Vijay Dashami for immersion procession. The banks of the river Yamuna were seen in an erratic condition after the immersion concluded. The chunks of Plaster of Paris and remains were all-over the riverside.
In 2015, National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned immersion of idols made of non-biodegradable material such as quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in river Yamuna, however, making of idols in the industrial scale reportedly takes years to dissolve and paint which consist of heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead.
Earlier, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the department of environment had also issued guidelines of idol immersion. The guidelines were kept in the paper and the reality took its own way. The Delhi government and the allied agencies had spent lots of money in the Yamuna cleaning earlier but there has been no positive report on these moves.
The second largest river in India, Yamuna which is also the second most polluted river after the Ganges, was already covered in half-melted pieces of Ganesh Idols after last month's procession of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Around 19 drains open into Yamuna in Delhi. Industrial wastes also find their way into the river from large industrial units (22 in Haryana, 42 in Delhi and 17 in Uttar Pradesh). Although Delhi constitutes just 2 percent of the catchment area of the Yamuna, it contributes to 80 percent of the total pollution of the river.
Until Sunday night, there was no report of cleaning initiative from any of the agencies.
Teams from the municipal corporations reached the places on Monday afternoon but could not start the work due to lack of staff. The officials said that the cleaning drive would start from Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the NGT has directed the Delhi government to submit a status report on the condition of river Yamuna post-immersion of Ganesh and Durga idols. While the tribunal has slammed the government, at the eve of another big festival of Diwali, the agencies would get a little time to clean the river.