Kolkata Municipal Corporation will set up a tank at Doi Ghat on Garden Reach Road where Durga Puja idols can be immersed, reducing chances of pollution of the Hooghly caused by colours on the idols.
Firhad Hakim, the chairperson of the board of administrators of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, said on Saturday the KMC was doing this on an experimental basis. If it succeeds, the arrangements will be scaled up.
Hakim said the heavy metals in the colours used to paint idols were a major cause of pollution of the Hooghly water.
“We are making a tank at Doi Ghat where idols can be immersed. We will draw water from the Hooghly through hose pipes to fill up the tank. It will be raw Ganga water, not treated water,” Hakim said.
“The water from the tank will be taken to sewage treatment plants.”
A KMC official said the plan was to spray water on the idols to wash away the paint and then dismantle them, leaving behind only the frames.
The Telegraph has reported a number of times that as idols float in the river, heavy metals used in making cheap colours — such as lead and chromium — are released in the water, polluting the water.
This year only a few idols will be allowed to be immersed in the tank.