In a first, the Delhi government had created 89 artificial ponds for idol immersion across the city to prevent the Yamuna from getting polluted. This initiative has fetched results with the Delhi government on Tuesday claiming that there has been no reports of idol immersion in the Yamuna.
“Till now we have no reports of anyone immersing the idols in the river. We have also deployed Civil Defence volunteers at 11 entry points to the Yamuna where people usually immerse idols,” K.S. Meena, Deputy Commissioner (headquarters) of Revenue Department told The Hindu at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Last year, we had dug up pits along the banks of the Yamuna and allowed immersion of idols only in it. But it also caused pollution as many people went ahead and immersed idols in the river,” the official said.
As they don’t want to take any chance, artificial ponds were created this year. Some of the ponds were as deep as eight feet and is 20x30 feet in size. To make use of the artificial ponds, the government had held meetings with various puja committees ahead of the immersion and had given advertisements with details of all the 89 locations.
Various government bodies, including the municipal corporations, Delhi Jal Board and Revenue Department, which is the nodal agency, worked in shifts to prevent the Yamuna from getting polluted.
Durga puja organisers were also happy with the arrangement, though there were some operational difficulties.
S. Mitra, general secretary of Antaranga Durga Puja in Mayur Vihar Phase-1, said that they have been celebrating Durga Puja for 27 years in the Capital and it was for the first time that they immersed the idol in an artificial pond.
“It is a good move and we completely support it. There is less pollution and we didn’t have to spend much money as the location was close to our pandal,” he said.
However, Mr. Mitra said that there was only four-feet water in the eight-feet deep pond. “There was some problem with the arrangement and the plastic was not covering the base of the entire pond,” he added.