NGT seeks reply from ministries

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed the ministries of environment, water resources and human resource development to file their replies to a plea seeking a uniform policy with regard to immersion of idols in rivers and other water bodies during some religious events.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar gave two weeks to them to file their responses and listed the matter on 15 January, 2014.

The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by environmentalist Subhas Dutta who has sought ‘uniform, practical, pragmatic and well-accepted standard operating procedure’ for immersion of idols across the country.

‘Lakhs of idols are immersed in the rivers and water bodies in the country every year and they are left there to decompose, resulting in damage to the water body and the environment,’ Dutta told the tribunal.
Referring to an Allahabad High Court order by which there is complete ban on immersion of idols in the Ganga, Dutta has questioned how the same can be allowed in West Bengal or other parts of the country.
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