DPCC amends directions to allow immersion of idols above 5-feet in height

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has amended its directions to allow the immersion of idols taller than five feet in designated artificial ponds across the city during the festive season. The pollution control body had in July issued an order fixing the maximum height of idols at five feet. In a bid to reduce pollution load in the Yamuna, it had also asked puja organisers to immerse idols in artificial ponds created at 128 sites across Delhis 11 revenue districts. In a corrigendum dated August 28, the DPCC said puja samitis (committees) have approached various forums to reconsider the size of idols which are to be immersed at the designated sites. A committee headed by the Director, Environment, examined the issue at a meeting on August 22. Taking into consideration the submission of puja samitis that five-feet height would restrict the glimpse of Maa Durga during large gatherings, the panel recommended an increase in the size of idols for immersion, provided all other directions are complied with rigorously, the DPCC said. For the idol of size more than 5 feet, the puja samitis concerned have to ensure that all pollution norms are strictly adhered to and its immersion is done in designated artificial pond suitable for such size in consultation with and under overall supervision of the district magistrate concerned, it said. Tests conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board showed that the concentration of metals such as lead, chromium, mercury and nickel had shot up by several times in the Yamuna, rendering the river unfit, even for bathing.