Local people have demanded immediate cleaning of Ichamati river near Taki in Basirhat and Bongaon to make the river pollution free as a large number of Durga idols were immersed in the river.

A letter was sent to the state irrigation and waterways department regarding this matter. A few hundred idols of Durga were immersed in the Ichamati river. An international festival was organised at Taki as idols both from West Bengal and Bangladesh were immersed in the river.

Kundan Halder, from Taki, said that there is lack of cleaning and dredging work, so this river has lost its depth. Moreover, the current of the river is very slow since there is an absence of high tides and low tides due to siltation of the river, he added.

“After the immersion, pollution level in the river has increased drastically but the administration has failed to take any initiative to clean the river,” he said.

Water hyacinth has also covered most part of the river. Huge quantites of flowers and leaves were dumped into the river during the immersion and all being perishable, excerbate the already existing pollution in the river, said a local resident.

Local people of Bongaon and Hasnabad also said that they face huge difficulties as local water bodies are being filled up for business ventures. “Earlier idols were immersed in the local water bodies but now there are very few ponds and most of the ponds are filled up,” said Monohar Pal, a local resident of Bongaon.

Officials from both Bongaon and Taki municipalities said that local civic bodies have deployed men to clear the river, especially to bring out the structures of the idols. Local people, however, said that this step is not sufficient to save the river from pollution.