The ghats of Calcutta saw 2,876 idols being immersed between afternoon on Dashami and early on Tuesday. Metro kept track of the proceedings from a speedboat to compile a report card on compliance.
Gwalior ghat: The most number of idols — 909 — were immersed here and that affected enforcement. Many idols floated away from the rope cordon and melted, turning the waters toxic. The ghat is overused.
Babughat: It had the best arrangements, including a crane attached to a barge to lift idols out of the river. The immersion count of 713 and high tide proved its undoing. Some of the idols kept in a heap after being retrieved melted during high tide. Needs to reduce immersion load.
Nimtala ghat: The most compliant on view. A crane was mounted on a barge just like in Babughat, but what made the difference was how the lifted idols were stacked. The decision to keep idols on the barge ensured the ghat stayed clean.
Bagbazar ghat: A person drowned during immersion, after which an adjoining flight of stairs was used to take down the idols. Infrastructure was poor and idols floated away.
Kumartuli ghat: The lack of a plan to infuse some discipline into the immersion process showed. There were 147 immersions here with no police presence and little effort to retrieve the idols before they floated out of reach.
Saradamani ghat: The worst on view. Resembled a waste dump after 223 immersions without any arrangements.
Ratanbabur ghat: Fewer immersions than at Saradamani was the saving grace.
Doi ghat: The second convenient location after Babughat on the Calcutta side but under-utilised. But infrastructure needs to get better.