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Misuse of water body during religious festivals is threat to its existence: NGT panel

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Misuse of any water body during cultural or religious festivals is a threat to its existence, and only specific places should be earmarked for this purpose, a monitoring committee has told the National Green Tribunal.
The committee, led by a former high court judge, told a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that the activities such as immersion of idols, throwing of 'pooja' material into the water bodies contaminate it.
"Recently, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee prepared a list of 151 spots across the 11 revenue districts for idol immersion during festival season. Artificial ponds for immersion of idols to reduce pollution in Yamuna is another viable option," the panel has told the NGT.
The committee, which submitted its report to NGT, is headed by Justice S P Garg (retd), and also comprises representative each from the Delhi Jal Board, Central Pollution Control Board, Central Ground Water Authority and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) concerned.
Recently, Yamuna pollution monitoring committee had asked authorities in the national capital to explore the possibility of creating artificial ponds and pits in various localities for idol immersion.
Idol immersion should be banned in the Yamuna river and replaced by artificial ponds in resident welfare association and on empty land spaces, the Yamuna pollution monitoring committee had said.
"The possibility of using colony/locality-wise pits needs to be discussed and a decision taken. Delhi needs to create sufficient artificial ponds before issuing a notification that immersion would be permitted only in designated ponds," it has said.
The tribunal had earlier in 2015 banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material like quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna river.
"Idol immersion should be allowed only of the ones which are made from biodegradable material and not plastic or plaster of Paris. Only those colours should be used on the idols that are environment friendly," the NGT had said.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 7:25 PM IST

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