In what can be termed as a warped sense of environment conservation, a Hindu religious body in Uttar Pradesh has begun burning 500 quintals of mango tree wood to reduce pollution.

According to media reports, the 9-day long ‘mahayagya’ (religious ceremony) began on Sunday on the first day of Navratri– Hindu new year– in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut and will end on March 26.

Performed from 8 am to 7 pm daily by around 350 priests from Varanasi and Vrindavan, the havan is being organised by Shri Ayutchandi Mahayagya Samiti at Bhainsali ground.

A total of one crore offerings to fire will be made by the priests in the 108 hawan kunds (fire pits) that have been constructed at the venue.

Surprisingly, officials of the state’s pollution control board have refused to intervene as it is a religious event, reports said.

(With inputs from agencies)