Delhi government’s plan to have visarjan of Durga Puja idols of Chittaranjan Park and adjacent areas in a temporary pond in the colony itself have hit a roadblock due to lack of land. A school had initially agreed to give part of their ground to build a temporary pond. However, it has backed out after opposition from many of its managing committee members.
AAP spokesperson and local MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, who was spearheading the initiative in close coordination with the Puja committees, said there is some Delhi Jal Board land in the area but they are too small for immersion. “We had found a site at Raisina Bengali School, opposite the office of East Pakistan Displaced Person (EPDP) Association. The temporary pond would have been dismantled after the immersions on September 30. The school initially agreed but later backed out,” Bharadwaj told Hindustan Times.
A member of the school management committee confirmed the development saying that the decision was taken after opposition from many members on the “sensitive” issue. A steering committee has already been formed for this and a representative of every Puja committee in the area is a part of it. The steering committee was supposed to decide on time slots for immersion for different organisers so that any congestion because of processions could be avoided.
There are 12 Durga pujas organised in CR Park and neighbouring areas such as, Greater Kailash I and II and Alaknanda. Revellers from across Delhi and NCR visit CR Park for the Puja — a Bengali Hindu festival celebrated in honour of goddess Durga. Organisers such as Milan Samiti, E Block, D Block, Cooperative and GK II were on board with the idea. B Block and Pocket 52 have already been doing this in their own compounds. A few organisers such as the Mela Ground Puja Samiti and Nabapally, however, didn’t agree to the proposal.
The initiative was undertaken to take some pressure off the Yamuna river, which every year witnesses around 200 Durga idol immersions from Delhi and NCR. The National Green Tribunal in 2015 had banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material such as quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna.
It had said that idol immersion should be done from a designated place so that the river doesn’t get polluted. The bench said it cannot allow the river to get polluted and hence, in an earlier order, prohibited throwing of puja material from anywhere but designated ghats.