Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Proud of Delhi. Congratulations to all Delhi Government officials who ensured that the new Eco-friendly arrangements did not inconvenience anyone”, after the capital successfully celebrated its first ever eco-friendly Durga Pooja this year.
Pertaining to the growing issue of climate change and environmental degradation, the Delhi government prohibited the immersion of Durga idols in the Yamuna river and barricaded all the routes to Delhi’s most popular ghats on Tuesday. The residents of Delhi supported and accepted this move with open arms, thus making the initiative a success.
Furthermore, the Delhi government created numerous idol immersion pits around the city, providing the devotees with an eco-friendly alternative.Even though after this also, many people were seen marching towards the the ghats of Yamuna river to try their chance, but the police security made no exception to the rule. Policemen were stationed at a gap of every 20 metres to ensure that nobody stopped at the Yamuna bridge to offer prayers to the river.
“Over 1000 people have been turned back and we have a list of the nearest spots where the idols can be immersed. Some people argued with us, but most understood the objective and simply went to the location” quoted head constable Vinod Kumar, who was stationed at ITO ghat, in an interview with the press.
There was however a little discontentment among some of people including the pooja samitis in the city who argued against this move of the Delhi government saying that immersing the idols in pits was not as sacred as immersing them in the holy water of Yamuna, but most of the Durga Pooja organizers stood with the initiative and even incorporated the use of bio-degradable decorations and cutlery for ‘prasad’ in their celebrations.
Other Eco-friendly steps taken by the residents of Delhi this year included the use of betel leaves and glass cups in various pandals, replacement of chemical paints by organic colors made of dried fruits and flowers and crafting of Durga idols with items like edible clay, bamboo, paper etc.
According to a report, this was probably the first time in the last 100 years that no ideal was immersed in Yamuna which was exactly what we needed to save our water bodies from further ruins at this point. This positive move of the government received huge nation-wide recognition and empowered the people of Delhi to contribute for environmental preservation in their own little way even in the future.