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Waste from idols leaves Yamuna ghats in a mess (Oct)

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

NEW DELHI: People who gathered on the Yamuna banks for idol immersion were pleasantly surprised by a cleaner river. The white foam caused by industrial effluents was completely missing. However, by the time the visarjan ended all the muck and filth was back.

Officials of South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the irrigation department said their requeststo follow the guidelines were ignored by a number of puja committees which immersed their idols without removing the plastic and metals--most citing religious reasons.

"A number of unregistered groups who come here from the NCR are unaware of the guidelines. As they are not part of our committee we cannot control their actions," said a member of the south Delhi immersion committee which oversees the process.

Several committees from Noida and Faridabad also came to the ghats in Delhi for the immersion. "We have come all the way as immersion of idols in thee Yamuna from Noida side has been banned. We could not come up with an alternative plan at such short notice," said AK Sinha, a member of a Durga Puja committee in Noida.

SDMC officials at the Kalindi Kunj ghat said additional personnel was deployed to remove the bamboo structures once the clay was washed off from the idols. "The river will be cleaned on Tuesdayonce the entire process is over," said an SDMC official.

Meanwhile, environment secretary Sanjiv Kumar said the department will make sure that the ghats are cleaned within the next three days.