New Delhi: Delhi celebrates Ganesh Chahturthi with much gusto and merriment. Following the ten-day long celebration, there is a procession which leads to the immersion of idol-Ganesh Visarjan in the Yamuna river.
The significance of immersing the idol symbolises the Lord taking our sorrows along with him and returning again next year to protect us.
But apart from the grandeur and symbolic meaning of Ganesh Visarjan, there lies a stark reality of environmental degradation every year that comes with immersing idols.
Pollution that is caused is rampant, as hundreds of clay-idols that are immersed in the water, go on to kill several life underwater-fishes, plants as the acid content in the water is increased.
Along with pollution of water through the chemical paints used in the idols, there also lies the danger of people directly drinking from the Yamuna after immersion, which can have delirious effect on their health.
The waste that is generated by the non-biodegradable accessories used during worship, also have to be cleared after the process of immersion.
Taking up this issue of water pollution, Agra has banned immersion of idols in the river Yamuna.
After several rounds of talks involving voluntary groups and police, district authorities Tuesday announced plans to develop "immersion tanks" at the ghats.
A similar exercise is being undertaken in nearby Mathura and Vrindavan.
The Allahabad High Court last year directed the Uttar Pradesh government to make alternative arrangements for immersion of idols to prevent pollution of rivers and other water bodies.
The state pollution control board was directed to identify spots for developing "immersion tanks" along the river.
(With Agency Inputs)