To prevent water pollution in the Ganga, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has decided to arrange two ponds in north Kolkata for the occasion of idol immersion following Durga, Lakshmi and Kali Pujas as well as for Chhath rituals, WBPCB chairman Kalyan Rudra said on Wednesday. He added that it will also fulfil the condition of “National Mission for Clean Ganga” (NMCG) programme to minimise pollution.
Even last year, the NMCG had directed the WBPCB to check idol immersion in the Ganga. However, the directive was not followed.
“This year we have arranged two ponds near Lake Town Debi Ghat and Dumdum Tank No. 4,” Rudra said.
He added, “Last year, the experiment of pollution-free immersion at New Town Kolkata Development Authority was successfully conducted. This year, we will implement it in Lake Town and Dumdum. The reservoirs will be barricaded and a synthetic liner will be used to stop solid waste from polluting water. The idols and other solid waste will be later cleaned up by the local municipal authority.”
The WBPCB on Thursday also announced that the “Green Puja Award” will not be held this year due to the pandemic. “We have cancelled the award programme due to the Covid-19 situation,” said Rajesh Kumar, WBPCB secretary.
He added, “From November to March, the air quality in Kolkata is generally very poor. Last year, we had sprinkled water on the streets to check air pollution. This year also we will continue the exercise and will increase the number of vehicles to get better results. We will also tell the Fire Brigade to sprinkle water at the two dumping grounds of Kolkata – Dhapa and Rajendra Nagar. It will help decrease air pollution levels.”
Rudra said as local train services were closed, more people used vehicles to travel in Kolkata everyday.
“However, offices will be closed during four days of Durga Puja. So, we are expecting less air pollution at that time,” he added.