Durga, the demon-slayer, will be mighty pleased with Ranchi this year.
For, Puja organisers in the capital are destroying evils that plague the environment. They are not just giving both pandals and pratimas an eco-friendly makeover, and keeping the decibel demon very much on leash.
Credit, however, must go to the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) because a green Puja is the result of its persistent efforts.
Most organising committees are using organic colours instead of synthetic ones so that immersions cause least harm to water bodies.
Artificial colours have been replaced by baked clay and green colours, while organic paper has gained popularity in idol-making. For pandals, raw material with recycle value — like jute and thermocol — are being used.
Pollution control board analyst R.N. Kashyap said that in the next two days, they would publish ads in newspapers to formally ask Puja committees to abide by green rules.
“We issue guidelines to organisers every year, in accordance with directives from the Central Pollution Control Board,” he said.
Besides pandal and idol-making measures, organisers have been asked to ensure that loudspeakers do not exceed the limit of 55dB in residential areas, 65dB in non-residential ones and 75dB in industrial belts.
“We will keep close watch on pandals along with the district administration to check whether revelry noise is within the permissible limits,” Kashyap said.
There is hardly any doubt that JSPCB norms will allow pandal-hoppers enjoy a green Durga Puja this year. But, the best part is organisers are complying willingly.
RR Sporting Club on Ratu Road is using 1,50,000 kulhars (earthen tea cups) for their pandal. The majestic edifice will house a Durga idol made of seashells. “We are using kulhars because they will not go waste and can be reused after the Puja,” said Krishna Yadav, president of the club.
Similarly, Rajasthan Mitra Mandal Puja Committee on Lake Road are decorating their pandal with rice husk and bamboo base, thereby reducing the use of colours.
Kokar Puja Committee is using used paper and clay to craft their unique pratima. “We want to create awareness among revellers by using eco-friendly and recyclable materials,” said committees president Chanchal Chatterjee.
Kantatoli’s Netaji Subhas Bose Puja Committee is working on shoe-string budget. “We are using naturally available materials for pandal decoration, which has drastically lowered our expenses,” said committee member Kumar S. Chakarborty.
Ranchi’s Puja committees have also unanimously pledged to curb noise pollution and play devotional songs to welcome the goddess.