Home / Politics / Policy /  NGT bans immersion of plastic, POP idols in Yamuna in Delhi

New Delhi: A day before Ganesha festival begins, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material like quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna river.

“Idol immersion should be allowed only of the ones which are made from biodegradable material and not plastic/Plaster of Paris. Only those colours should be used on the idols which are environment friendly," said a NGT bench headed it its chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar on Wednesday.

NGT directed the irrigation department of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to hold a meeting with the vice chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to immediately identify the immersion sites.

Every year thousands of idols are immersed on ghats of Yamuna in Delhi and adjoining states like Uttar Pradesh on festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja.

The NGT bench also sought information on whether the nine ghats of Yamuna in Delhi to be provided and maintained by the respective (municipal) corporations have been constructed and are being maintained regularly.

“Whether such ghats presently have mechanism in place for ensuring that material does not flow into the river but is collected and recycled. It may be by use of mesh or by providing separate channel of water, as already directed by the Tribunal," the order noted.

The green tribunal said these locations must be widely publicized. It also directed the Delhi government to set up mobile toilets/bio-toilets at the ghats for the public.

NGT’s order came in response to a petition by environmentalist Manoj Misra, convener of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, an organization that has been working to clean and revitalize Yamuna for nearly a decade.

In January, NGT passed slew of measures under the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna (from dirty to pure Yamuna)-Yamuna Revitalisation plan 2017" to check pollution of Yamuna. It had said that anyone found polluting the river by throwing in material, including religious items, will face a fine of 5,000 and the fine will rise to 50,000 for those dumping construction waste into the river.

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