New Delhi: In a bid to prevent immersion of idols in the Ganga or its tributaries during festivals, the Centre has issued a 15-point directive, which includes imposing a fine of Rs 50,000 and cordoning off ghats.
“No idol immersion into river Ganga and its tributaries and on their banks,” says the directive issued by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to chief secretaries in 11 Ganga basin states, the Indian Express reported. Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Rajasthan are among the states the directive was sent to.
The directive, issued under Section 5 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, states: “River Bank and Ghats should be Rs 50,000 fine for idol immersion in Ganga, tributaries: Centre to states cordoned off and barricaded to prevent any stray immersion of idols in the river or its banks. Adequate arrangements should be made for designated idol-immersion sites within the municipal area or bank of river Ganga and its tributaries by constructing temporary confined ponds with removable synthetic liners at the bottom.”
It adds: “All concerned state government, authority, board or corporation should ensure that there is no use of synthetic material/ non-biodegradable material, Plaster of Paris (POP), baked clay, resin fibers and thermocol for making of idols. Besides, the use of toxic and non-biodegradable chemical dyes or synthetic paints for painting of idols should be strictly prohibited.”
The chief secretaries of the states will have to submit an action-taken report within seven days from the end of each festival. “If any person violates above directions, then Rs 50,000 as environment compensation should be levied, collected and deposited with State Pollution Control Boards,” the directive states.
The immersion of idols during festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Chhath Puja has led to rise in pollutants.