While the rain had made Yamuna look comparatively cleaner in past few days, but one again the river wore a foamy look this week after thousands of Ganesha idols were immersed on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The use of PoP idols was banned by NGT in 2015 as they don’t easily dissolve in water. The tribunal had later issued instructions to remove all decorations before the idols were immersed. Despite warnings and notices, NGT orders continued to be blatantly disobeyed as idols made of Plaster-of-Paris along with flowers and decoration items could be seen floating on the ghats.
According to a test conducted by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on August 8, it was found that the pollution level of already at an alarming stage. While the dissolved oxygen levels should be 4 mg/l or above for the aquatic life to sustain, in the reports it was found that DO was zero in at least seven ghats. Further, the report found Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) to be as high as 40 mg/l at places like Kudesia Ghat against a prescribed standard of 3 mg/l or below.
To the worst, as reported by national publication TOI, DPCC officials said Plaster-of-Paris made idols being immersed at Yamuna are likely to push up these levels.
“We have started the testing process and will compare pre and post immersion samples. These will also be compared with last year’s readings,” an official said.
While Durga puja is round the corner, the load of worry has doubled as preparation would be required to avoid a repeat of the situation. “Idols containing toxic dyes are immersed each year and the rules are rarely followed. Better implementation of the NGT order is required on the ground,” Manoj Mishra, convener of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, said.