Orientation for Idol Immersion by Dept of Environment

Posted by on Sep 18, 2019 in School News | Comments Off

It has been observed that on festive occasions such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, etc., that it has been a tradition to immerse idols in water bodies like rivers, lakes, ponds, wells etc. Consequently, the pollution of such water bodies has been a matter of concern and many public interest litigations have been filed for the same.

Seeing the increasing water pollution on account of the immersion of idols in the sacred rivers and other water bodies, the Department of Environment took the initiative of organising a workshop on 29 August 2019 at the Delhi Secretariat. Ms Neha Sachdeva, Social Science teacher, represented our School at the workshop.

The aim of the workshop was to sensitise people in general about the harmful impact of idol immersion on the environment, even whilst not hurting their religious sentiments. It was also an orientation about the appropriate manner in which to undertake idol immersion. All members of the department including Dr Anil Kumar (Director of Environment), Dr Sanjeev Aggarwal (Consultant DPCC) Mrs Nigam Agarwal (SSO), Dr Chetna Anand (Scientist) , Dr S.K. Nigam (DPCC) and Mr Kaushal Kishore( Deputy Secretary Environment) addressed the gathering by turn and shared their views.

The workshop began with a presentation by Dr Nigam Agarwal (SSO), who emphasised the importance of these festivals in our lives and the environmental concerns raised by the immersion of idols.The CPCB Guidelines on idol immersion 2010 were discussed with the gathering where emphasis was laid on the following points:

 Idols may be made only from natural materials as described in the holy scripts. Use of traditional clay for idols is permitted. The use of baked clay, Plaster of Paris etc. is hereby prohibited.
 Painting of idols should be discouraged .In case idols are to be painted, water soluble and non toxic natural dyes may be used. Use of toxic and non- biodegradable chemical dyes for painting the idols are strictly prohibited.
 Idols should be small in size and not more than 5 feet in height so that they can be immersed in ponds at designated sites.
 Idols should be immersed only at designated places identified by the Govt of NCT of Delhi/ Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
 The ‘Idol Immersion Points’ shall be cordoned off and barricaded. Synthetic liners may be placed at the bottom of river bodies well in advance. The liner shall be removed on the completion of immersion ceremony so that the remains of idols would be carried to the banks of the water bodies.
 Within 48 hours of the immersion of idols, the left over material at idol immersion points on the banks of the river/ lakes/ ponds etc. should be collected by the local bodies for disposal as per the guidelines issued by CPCB.
 The Delhi Police shall issue relevant directions to the Police Officers at the Police Check Post/Police Station concerned to take appropriate action against offenders violating these directions.
 The District Magistrate shall enforce the above directions by issuing relevant
instructions to the concerned officials for monitoring and enforcement. If any person is found violating the sane, Rs 5000 environment compensation will be levied and deposited with the DPCC.

Additionally the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is monitoring the various activities causing pollution in the river Yamuna through O.A. No.6 of 2012 entitled “Manoj Mishra and Madhu Bhandari Vs U.O.I and Ors”.

The workshop ended with a beautiful message, “Let’s celebrate environment-friendly Ganesh Pooja, Durga Pooja and other festivals without harming the environment”.

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