Ranchi Lake wears a clean look on Thursday. (Hardeep Singh)
When revelry joins hands with sense of responsibility, eco-friendly Puja is born — a rarity that the state capital witnessed this year.
Durga Puja organisers in Ranchi have been able to achieve the clean act, focusing on simple dos and don’ts that go into creating a safe and green environment for celebrations.
Result: two days after immersion ended, the water bodies appear less dirtier than other years. Toxic paints, non-biodegradable ornaments, weapons, clothes and other accessories that choke aquatic life are surprisingly missing.
And this has been possible primarily for two reasons.
First, the pandals were made mostly with raw material having recycle value like jute and thermocol and for idols, organic colours instead of synthetic ones were used.
“A majority of organisers created their goddesses with biodegradable materials such as newspapers to ensure that its immersion does not harm the water body,” said Munchun Rai, president of Ranchi Zilla Durga Puja Committee.
Toxic colours, which were widely used by idol-makers for their low cost, easy availability, shine and intensity, were shunned this time as it contain elements such as mercury, cadmium, lead and carbon, Rai added.
The second major reason as to why water pollution could be largely avoided was the swift action by local volunteers, who removed the wooden frameworks of idols and other articles, immediately after the immersion.
“The self-employed garbage cleaners did not wait for the civic workers to do the cleaning, thereby ensuring the water bodies are not polluted,” Rai added.
There was another deviation. If puja organisers are to be believed, a majority of pandals immersed idols in Ranchi Lake. This means several ponds were spared.
“Yes, it is true. This year, we did not make much effort to clean up the water bodies. Most of the garbage was already on the banks, which will be loaded in tractors and taken to the dumping ground,” said Ranchi Municipal Corporation PRO Naresh Sinha.