The Delhi government has prohibited idol immersion in public places, large congregations and community celebrations on Ganesh Chaturthi this year. Community celebrations are not permitted as large gatherings are not allowed under the guidelines issued by the Delhi government in view of the pandemic, according to a Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) official.
Idol immersion in the Yamuna was banned following an order by the National Green Tribunal in 2015. Last year, the Delhi government had created aritifical ponds at public places for people to immerse idols. This too, cannot be done this year as large gatherings will increase the risk of virus transmission, the official said.
According to the DPCC, idol immersion will not be allowed during the upcoming festival in the Yamuna or any other water body, public place, ponds or ghats. A fine of Rs 50,000 will be imposed on the violators, it said.
The pollution control body has asked residents to perform the idol immersion ritual in a bucket or container inside their home. According to the 'Unlock 3' guidelines issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, religious functions and other large congregations such as Ganesh Pooja and immersion procession are not permitted and the same should be ensured, the DPCC directed municipal corporations and district magistrates.
It has asked idol makers and sellers to use natural material as described in the holy scripts — such as traditional clay — to make idols. The use of baked clay and plaster of paris is prohibited, it said. Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 22.