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Eco-friendly pandals flavour of the season (Oct)

The Times of India , Friday, October 11, 2013

RANCHI: Idols made of old newspapers, sea-shells and husk, which are both innovative and eco-friendly, have made their way to the pandals in Ranchi this festive season.

The idol of Rajasthan Mitra Mandal Durga Puja has been made of husk, bamboo and organic paint to prevent water pollution after immersion. Ramesh Sharma, secretary of the committee said, "Ranchi Lake, which is the most common venue for idol immersion, is situated right next to our pandal. Every year after immersion, the pond sees an increase in pollution. This year we planned to make an eco-friendly idol so that materials used do not float on water. The 10-feet idol has been made from bamboo, husk of rice and herbal colour."

Similarly, Bhartiya Navyuvak Sangh, which organizes a grand Durga Puja every year, is not only making eco -friendly idols but also an eco-friendly pandal. Ravi Rohatagi, member of the committee said, "The pandal needs to be eco-friendly for when it is dismantled, the leftovers remain littered at the venue leaving the ground in a mess."

The pandal at Bakri Bazar is being made out of coconut shell, plywood and jute mat. Rohatagi said, "The budget of the pandal this year is around Rs 30 lakh. We have used 12 quintal jute, 2000 pieces of jute mat and 1500 plywood sheets in making the pandal."

RR Sporting club at Ratu Road has also opted for an eco-friendly pandal and idol. While the pandal is made of bamboo and kulhar (earthen cups), the idol is made of sea shells. Krishna Yadav, chairperson of the club said, "We have made the pandal from 1,40,000 earthern cups and the idol has been brought from Haldia, which is made only of sea shell. We have always been in support of eco-friendly Durga Puja and last year we had made a pandal from icecream sticks."

A radio channel has also planned to make an idol of Ma Durga from old newspapers and has plans of carrying it across the city to promote eco-friendly puja. Amit Gupta of the channel said, "We want to raise awareness of rising pollution levels and promote eco-friendly puja. We will be carrying the idol made of newspapers across the city in an open truck for people to see."