NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 3, 2019 (Deccan Chronicle): In an attempt to curb immersion of statues in the Ganga or its tributaries during festivals, the Indian Central Government in Delhi has issued a 15-point directive, which includes imposing a fine of US$700 (Rs. 50,000) and the cordoning off ghats, among other requirements reported News18. "No statue immersion into river Ganga and its tributaries and on their banks," says the directive issued by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to chief secretaries in 11 Ganga basin states, the Indian Express reported. Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Rajasthan are among the states the directive was sent to.
The directive which has been issued under Section 5 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, also states: "Adequate arrangements should be made for designated statue-immersion sites within the municipal area or bank of river Ganga and its tributaries by constructing temporary confined ponds with removable synthetic liners at the bottom. All concerned state government, authority, board or corporation should ensure that there is no use of synthetic material/non-biodegradable material, Plaster of Paris (POP), baked clay, resin fibers or thermocol for making of statues. Besides, the use of toxic and non-biodegradable chemical dyes or synthetic paints for painting of statues should be strictly prohibited."
The chief secretaries of all the states will have to submit a report on the action-taken within seven days from the end of each festival. "If any person violates the above directions, then $700 as environment compensation should be levied, collected and deposited with State Pollution Control Boards," the directive states.
The immersion of statues during festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Chhath Puja has led to a rise in pollutants.