New places identified for immersion of idols
The Kamrup (M) district administration has made elaborate arrangements with regard to the immersion of the idols for Durga Puja.
The administration is fully prepared to conduct the ceremony in a free and fair manner and the concerned departments will undertake necessary work to make each ghat suitable by September 30.
“Immersion generally takes place at seven to eight places in the city. The major ones include the Kachomari ghat, where around 250-300 immersions take
place, the Pandu ghat with over 200, and the Sunsali ghat where 150-200 puja committees immerse their idols. Tasks have been assigned to various departments so that the immersion programme is conducted smoothly on September 30,” said Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (M) Dr. M. Angamuthu.
He added that there will be 650 to 700 pujas across the city and provisions have to be made to accommodate all of them.
The city Police Commissioner will be in charge of the entire system to provide adequate security personnel and rescue boats along with rescue parties in the ghats during the immersion programme.
The Commissioner of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has been directed to provide sufficient floodlights, standby generators and to arrange for proper cleaning of the ghats. The commissioner has also been asked to take necessary measures to remove all the idols immediately after immersion to avoid water pollution. The GMC will provide at least 200 labourers for each ghat and install barricades wherever necessary.
The Director of State Fire Services will provide fire-tenders at the immersion ghats on the day of dashami. The Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) has been asked to provide uninterrupted power supply during the days of Pujas till dashami at all the places, including the immersion ghats. The Executive Engineer of PWD (Mechanical division), Guwahati, has been directed to provide standby generator sets with operators at the immersion ghats.
The task to provide a watch tower in consultation with the concerned Deputy Commissioner of Police of the area lies on the shoulders of PWD (Buildings) and PWD (Roads).
The Health Services department of Kamrup (M) will deploy medical teams with ambulances and necessary medicines at the immersion ghats till the ceremony is completed, while the Divisional Forest Officer of the East Kamrup division will provide sufficient quantity of wooden planks, wooden posts and stone dust to develop the ghats. The Deputy Controller of Civil Defence, Kamrup (M), will be in charge of the rescue teams which will be deployed at the ghats.
Meanwhile, the district administration has instructed some of the Additional Deputy Commissioners and Executive Magistrates to look after different divisions of the city and ensure smooth conduct of Durga Puja celebrations.
The Inland Water Transport Department has geared up for the idol immersion ceremony on September 30, the last day of the Durga Puja festivities. In a statement, the department said its staff and officials are engaged in ground work for the immersion at the four designated sites – Kachomari Ghat, Basistha, Pandu Ghat and Sunsali Ghat.
Immersion of idols do not pollute the Brahmaputra river water
It has always been a concern that the colours used on the idols pollute the river water and Brahmaputra being a designated zone for visarjan has to bear the brunt of it all. As thousands of idols are dumped every year, it becomes a major cause of river pollution as the idols are made using plaster-of-Paris and coated with various chemicals. In Guwahati, the district administration has ordered that all the committees that organise Durga Puja need to clean up the river sites where they dump the idols of the goddess, within three days.
However, an official of the Pollution Control Board of Assam said that the department has not issued any such guideline to the puja committees. Adding to that he said, ‘the colours used in the idols are eco-friendly and do not pollute the water’. The water gets polluted when the water remains stagnant, but because of the flow of the Brahmaputra, this is not a concern. However, natural clay, bamboo, choir ropes, straw, etc., should be used instead of baked clay, plaster of Paris, synthetic ropes, etc., that harm the environment.
For painting the idols, non-toxic water soluble biodegradable paints have been used. Use of chemical dyes containing heavy metals like lead, cadmium, etc., or carcinogenic organics which cause immense pollution to water sources must not be used and this has been followed by the idol makers. Use of thermocol for decoration of the puja pandals or as drinking glasses should be avoided, as this material leads to exothermic self-decomposition, contributing extra heat to global warming.
New places identified for immersion of idols