09 October 2019
Bhubaneswar: As Durga Puja festivities came to an end on Wednesday in Bhubaneswar, the sight at the artificial ponds created by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) for immersion of the Maa Durga idols was heartrending.
Idols brought on trucks by different puja committees to the shallow artificial ponds on the banks of rivers Kuakhai and Daya were seen being dismembered of their limbs or often chopped into pieces before being dumped into these temporary ponds.
Even worse is puja committee members leaving behind idols half-submerged in blackish polluted water.
These ponds being shallow often left the Goddess gazing at the sky. The waste from the immersed idols will be later shifted by the BMC to be dumped in its garbage dumping yards.
"This is a painful adieu to Mother whom we address as 'Maa". Visarjan (immersion) is always heartrending. We young organisers do not go to the immersion site and leave it to the elders because we can't bear the grief of parting," said Amaresh Jena, Secretary of the Station Bazaar Puja Committee.
"We have prepared this artificial tank using polythene so that the river is not polluted by the chemicals and paints used in idol making," informed Patitapaban Patnaik, Additional Officer, BMC.
"After immersion is completed all waste materials from the idols will be shifted to the designated garbage dumping yard and water will be chlorinated," he added.
"Two temporary ponds have been dug each in Kuakhai and Daya which have HDPE impervious lining for immersion of Durga idols. All bio-degradable things like fruits, flowers, hay, sticks etc. will be dumped by the BMC in their dumping and disposal yard. On completion of immersion the water in these tanks will be treated before being released into the river,” said Vinod Das, an official of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), who was present at the idol immersion site.
This kind of end to a mother worshipped and revered for at least five days starting from Mahasasthi is certainly not edifying a sight but disturbing.