With the five-day long Durga Puja Celebration coming to an end, devotees on Tuesday bid adieu to Goddess Durga and performed the immersion of idols installed at various puja pandals in the Capital. A large number of devotees took part in immersion procession and carried their idols to Okhla Khadar and various other places near the Yamuna Ghat where arrangements were made by the Delhi government for immersing idols by creating special artificial ponds.
This year, no idol immersion was allowed in the Yamuna following the directions of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) under National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Although the idea is welcomed as it is a pollution-free process, some organizers and devotees are not happy about the arrangements made by the Delhi government and civic agencies for the immersion of idols as the artificial ponds fell short in sizes. Complete chaos and confusion were seen at the immersion sites as news started pouring in.
Earlier, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Dept of Environment, Govt. of NCT of Delhi had relaxed the restrictions put on the height at five feet on the Durga Puja Idol vide their corrigendum 28.8.2019 following a protest by the organizers who raised the issue with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for raising the ceiling on the maximum height to above five feet.
Devotees present at the site were unhappy and angry as it is related to religious sentiment.
“This year celebration was really very grand and we are happy about the joyful moments but spoiled by this arrangement. We are not happy about the artificial ponds constructed very first time. It should have been deeper and wide both in length and breadth,” exclaimed one devotee.
On Tuesday, over 500 Durga Puja committees on the city carried out idol immersion only in artificial ponds this year to protect the Yamuna.
The Delhi government had in early September 2019 revised a list of 129 sites where artificial ponds have been dug up for the immersion of idols during the festive season. In a bid to reduce the pollution load on the Yamuna river the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had asked puja organisers to immerse the idols in the artificial ponds built at designated sites across all 11 revenue districts of the national capital. Of the 129 sites, 15 are in East Delhi, 8 in North, 11 in New Delhi, 7 in Central Delhi, 12 in South, 15 in Southwest, 16 in Northwest, 8 in Shahdara, 10 in Northeast, 19 in West, and 8 in Southeast Delhi.