The residents dug two pits in a park for the immersion of Durga and her children's idols.
The five-day Durga Puja festivities came to an end yesterday with the immersion of idols across the country. But a day after, the Yamuna and other ghats in the national capital are filled with broken, undissolved Plaster of Paris idols. The harmful paints used to beautify the goddess are adding to its pollution. At a number of ghats across Delhi, the water has turned foamy.
However, in a move away from tradition, the B Block CR Park Durga Puja Committee decided to bid adieu to Durga in an eco-friendly way. The residents dug two pits (5 feet by 10 feet) in their colony park and covered it with a tarpaulin to hold water.
They lowered the biodegradable idols of Durga and her children in these pits. After the idols were dissolved, the bamboo frame left behind was returned to the craftsmen to be reused later.
"We encourage recycling. These pits are used as compost pits. The fertiliser from here is used for the development of the park throughout the year. We also have enough leftover for the residents to use in their gardens," says Tamal Rakshit, general secretary.
For 74-year-old Bimol Banerjee, to travel to the banks of Yamuna to witness visarjan
(immersion) is a Herculean task. For the last five years, he hasn't seen a visarjan
. "It is too crowded at the ghats and the conditions are not suitable for the elderly, but this environment-friendly immersion has given me a chance to witness this again."
"This way, we aren't choking our water bodies. Women, children and elderly, too, can be part of the celebrations. We would like to urge more pujo committees to join in and help make festivals environment friendly," said Mr Rakshit.