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CR Park shows way with eco-friendly immersion (Oct)

The Times of India, New Delhi,  15th October, 2013

Durga Puja concluded on Monday with samitis across NCR immersing their idols in the Yamuna. However, in one neighbourhood - Pocket 52 of Chittaranjan Park - no one stirred out of the pandal to board trucks and buses. Drum beats reverberated in the air amidst colours and loud cheers.

The idols were to be immersed right on the spot. And Dakshinapalli Durga Puja Samiti gradually lowered their biodegradable idol into a 12X15ft water tank. The idols of Kartikeya, Saraswati, Ganesha and Lakshmi were immersed in two 11X11ft tanks.

Ashok Bose, president of the Samiti, said the four other idols, similarly immersed, will take about a day to dissolve completely after which the slush will be released into the park.

"Thousands of idols are immersed in the Yamuna, causing irreparable damage to the river. And we are spending crores to clean up the mess. We decided this year, after consulting priests, to take this environment-friendly route," Bose said.

Environmentalists have long complained about the damage caused to rivers by the toxic colours, metal ornaments and non-biodegradable add-ons of idols. Taking note of these concerns, the Allahabad HC passed an order banning immersion of idols in the Ganga and Yamuna from next year and at Allahabad with immediate effect.