The central government issued a 15 point directive including cordoning off the ghats. This would prevent people to reach the ghats and also overcrowding of ghats. The immersing of idols is not the only main factor that would contibute to river pollution. The other materials used in puja are also harmful and it would prevent the mixing of these unwanted items in river water.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) issued the directive to chief secretaries in 11 Ganga basin states, viz. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. These directives were issued after a meeting of NMCG officials and these respective stated pollution board officials in September.
It has also been reported that officials have been strictly told to follow the orders. The officials have also been told to find alternative arrangements that can include designated immersion locations in municipality areas or designated temporary ponds near the banks of the Ganga river and its tributaries.
The immersion of idols is very common practice in Indian culture for quite a time. Be it Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja or Vishwakarma Puja. The problem is that these immersions take place at a very large scale ,which in turn, raise the pollutants in the water and contaminate the water.
Also the chief secretaries of these states have been asked to submit the action reports after the end of each festivals and the deadline of submitting these reports is seven days after the last day of festival.
In 2019, Indian PM Narendra Modi had merged all the ministries related to water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvention with drinking water and sanitation to form Jal Shakti ministry. The ministry has been incorporated with an aim to clean Ganga river. However, in 2014 Modi also launched the Namami Gange campaign to clear and rejuvenate the river.
But according to data released by Sankat Mochan Foundation’s Ganga Laboratory, the picture has become more worse. BOD, Biological Oxygen Demand, has reached 66-78mg/l from 46.8-54mg/l just between January 2016- January 2019. The picture is not that much rosy that anyone would have expected but it would be interesting noticing the impact of this recent step.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook