Fine up to ₹50,000 to be imposed for immersion of idols in River Ganga or its tributaries
A 15-point directive was issued by the Centre, which now restricts access to ghats and imposes a fine of ₹50,000, to avert immersion of idols in the Ganga or its tributaries during festivals
A 15-point directive was issued by the Centre, which now restricts access to ghats and imposes a fine of ₹50,000, to avert immersing of idols in the Ganga or its tributaries during festivals, including Dussehra, Diwali, Chhath and Saraswati Puja.
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) came up with the 15-point directive and it was discussed and passed last month. It was issued to chief secretaries in 11 Ganga basin states. “No idol immersion into river Ganga and its tributaries and on their banks,” said the directive, published after a meeting between the representatives of states and NMCG officials last month, reported The Indian Express.
Officials from Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal were present during the meeting, said sources. Apart from these states, the directive has been sent to Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
This directive falls under Section 5 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and states the following:
“Riverbank and Ghats should be Rs 50,000 fine for idol immersion in Ganga, tributaries: Centre to states cordoned off and barricaded to prevent any stray immersion of idols in the river or its banks. Adequate arrangements should be made for designated idol-immersion sites within the municipal area or bank of river Ganga and its tributaries by constructing temporary confined ponds with removable synthetic liners at the bottom. All concerned state government, authority, board or corporation should ensure that there is no use of synthetic material/ non-biodegradable material, Plaster of Paris (POP), baked clay, resin fibers and thermocol for making of idols. Besides, the use of toxic and non-biodegradable chemical dyes or synthetic paints for painting of idols should be strictly prohibited.”
The NMCG chief secretaries of these 11 states will make a report about the action taken within seven days from the end of each festival and submit it for the organisation to understand how effective the programme is. “If any person violates above directions, then ₹50,000 as environment compensation should be levied, collected and deposited with State Pollution Control Boards,” the directive states, said News18.
Immersion of idols and other “puja samagri” usually during festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Chhath Puja; leads to a significant rise in pollutants.