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Alternative plan to avoid idol-immersion polluting Yamuna

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Picture Credit: thehindu.in
Picture Credit: thehindu.in

New Delhi: With Indian festivities knocking at the door, pollution owing to idol immersion is one of the most important concerns worrying the locales of the capital. Idols — some of which contain toxic materials — at the Yamuna Ghat in Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj area has added to the pollution in the river, police say. Though the Puja organisers are aware of the prospective cons of idol immersion and don’t intend to pollute the Yamuna, they can’t help it as there is no alternative arrangement for the same.

On Sunday, at least 200 Ganesh idols were immersed at the ghat leading to a pile-up of idols, broken earthen pots, rotting flowers, tattered pieces of cloth and sodden coloured paper on the banks of the river which is the lifeline of the national capital.

“Even after the immersion, no one from the (municipal) corporation comes to clean the banks. The locals collect the bamboo from the river bank for their own use. This practice is seen every year. The MCD comes to just put the road in order,” said Bhubaneswar, a local resident.

According to police, at least 200 Ganesh idols were immersed on Sunday. On Friday, more than 500 Vishwakarma idols were immersed.

“This adds to the pollution in the Yamuna but no alternate arrangement has been made by the administration. This will go on till the 11th day of the ongoing Ganesh festival,” said a police official from Jaitpur police station in south Delhi.

A large quantity of insoluble waste like wood, plastic, and toxic material remained floating in the river as the puja organisers left the ghat having performed the last rituals of bidding adieu to their beloved god.

About 100 puja organisers from the Jasola Pocket 12 Ganesh Puja Samity have been coming here for the past four years since they started organising puja in their locality.

“Every year we come here for Visarjan. There is no alternate arrangement. We don’t want to pollute the Yamuna but can’t help it. The government should make separate provisions for Visarjan. Every year the Yamuna gets dirty during Ganesh festival and Durga Puja, the government should do something about it.

“There is so much space near the ghat, the government should make separate arrangement for immersion,” said Somesh Lal, an engineer and a member of the puja committee.

“The sadhus and sants (seers) of our country should come forward and create awareness about it. Only then will this practice change,” he added.

Rajesh, a member of a puja committee from Noida Sector 76, said: “The mud which is used for making Durga idols in Kolkata is always recommended because it gets absorbed in the water. Idols made of Plaster of Paris are not good because they release a lot of chemicals. The government should make alternate arrangements for immersion of idols.”

(IANS)

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According to a System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) report, the recent Air Quality Index in Delhi has been 'very poor', mainly due to stubble burning

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If you prefer staying indoors due to the rise in air pollution in Delhi-NCR, think again. According to experts, the air one breathes inside the house also contains particles that are harmful to health.

Products such as paints, as well as pet allergens and cooking gas can be additional sources of air pollution.

Air pollutants like particulate matter, ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead can affect the lungs in numerous ways like inflammation and oxidative stress.

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A man walks in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA

According to a System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) report, the recent Air Quality Index in Delhi has been ‘very poor’, mainly due to stubble burning.

According to Priyanka Kulshreshtha, Head-Research and Communication, Indian Pollution Control Association, and Founding Member, Society of Indoor Environment, it is very important to have exposure to purified air for at least 10-12 hours a day to breathe better and repair your lungs since the air one breathes outdoors is very poor.

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“Air purifiers work particularly well for the vulnerable sections such as kids and elderly as they also happen to spend more time indoors, whether it’s home or school, as well as 8-10 hours of sleep time,” she added. (IANS)