Hundreds of immersions later, the water in four ponds created at Kalindi Kunj for immersion of Durga idols was thick and murky with residue from the idols on Tuesday evening. But the Yamuna was, as a result, a little cleaner.
Kalindi Kunj is one of the venues for over 100 artificial ponds created this puja season, following the government’s prohibition of immersion of idols in the Yamuna. The scale of operation at this venue, conducted under the South Delhi Durga Puja committee, was massive, with participants from various agencies working in tandem to ensure it runs smoothly.
There were four artificial ponds of different sizes at the venue to accommodate idols of different sizes. While each was five-feet deep, their length and breadth varied — with the largest being 70×60 feet and the smallest being 32×35 feet.
Two cranes organised by the puja committee lifted larger idols from vehicles carrying them and dipped them into the ponds, while smaller idols were lifted in by devotees themselves. As the next batch of devotees arrived, the larger idols were removed by cranes while the smaller ones pulled out by municipal corporation workers and kept close to the ponds.
According to Sannu Seth, one of the 20 workers cleaning the venue, they had been at work since 8 am. Raking up residue at the edge of the ponds, they scooped it into garbage vehicles waiting there.
According to M K Roy of the committee, the clean-up at the venue would begin in full swing the next day.
“We have lost count of the number of idols which have been immersed here over the last two days. Today itself, around 35 sets of idols from proper pandals, which we have been associated with over the years, have been immersed. If we count those from less organised parties and from people’s homes, the number would cross a hundred just for today. For both days, it would exceed 200,” he said.
While many devotees returned satisfied, some felt there was scope for improvement. “The environment is not clean enough for idol immersion… The pond closest to our pandal is in Gol Market but we were asked to come here because that was not deep enough for our idol. I’m not sure how our 13-foot idol can be immersed here either,” said Subhash Mandal, whose group had brought its idol from Pandara Road. Till last year, they would immerse it at Geeta Ghat.