Environmental norms adhered during idol immersion: KMC

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Kolkata, Oct 27 (PTI) Adhering to environmental guidelines of the pollution board to check river water contamination, around 500 Durga idols were immersed in the Hooghly in the city on Tuesday, a senior official of Kolkata Municipal Corporation said.

While 2,000 idols were immersed on Bijoya Dashami on Monday, the number was far less today, member Board of Administrators, KMC, Debashis Kumar told PTI.

Close to 50 idols were immersed in Baje Kadomtola Ghat alone on Tuesday, he said.

After immersion, the remains of the idols were immediately lifted by a crane of the KMC team which was present at the venue.

Crowns and weapons of the deities, flowers and vermilion were removed from water, adhering to the 'Clean Ganga' mission guidelines of the Centre and West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) to avoid water pollution.

Environment crusader Subhas Dutta who went to Babughat in central Kolkata, said that while the structures of idols were being lifted from the water body, flowers and chemicals used to decorate the idols were getting mixed with the water, leading to pollution.

Dutta said he collected water samples from the river for sending it to the WBPCB for testing to assess the extent of pollution during immersion.

WBPCB chairman Kalyan Rudra said that environmental norms were followed at two large water bodies in Dumdum and Lake Town areas, earmarked by the local civic body and the pollution watchdog for immersion.

A part of the water bodies was fitted with synthetic liners to prevent the chemicals from spreading and for disposal of the sludge deposits, he said.

A WBPCB official said, around 300 idols have been immersed in Lake Town, Dumdum and neighbouring areas since Monday.

The immersion process will continue till Thursday.

None of the organisers arranged any procession, unlike previous years, and took the idols in trucks or trailers to the waterbody in view of the COVID-19 crisis.

'This is for the first time that Ekdalia Evergreen could not organise any immersion procession due to COVID-19.

We feel sad,' chief patron of the puja and West Bengal minister Subrata Mukherjee said.

The community puja organised by Ekdalia Evergreen Club in south Kolkata is a crowd puller.

On the Ichhamati river in Taki, 75 Durga idols from the country and four from neighbouring Bangladesh were immersed midstream amid tight security on Monday.

People had lined up in large numbers on the banks of the river to watch the event, a BSF statement said.

The river separates the two countries. PTI SUS MM MM