Agra authorities prevented devotees from immersing Ganesh idols in the polluted Yamuna river, bringing cheer to environmentalists. The Agra Municipal Corporation set up three artificial tanks, along the river, for people to immerse the idols.
“For the past 10 days, the administration has been working on plans and urging people to use the ‘Visarjan kunds’ (immersion tanks) at the ghats,” a municipal official told.
Notably, the Allahabad High Court last year ordered that immersion of idols made of toxic colours should not be allowed into the rivers and the water bodies.
Following the ruling, the state government asked local bodies to come up with alternative plans.
Some Hindutva groups have opposed the move by the city authorities, saying all the ghats do not have the facility. However, environmentalists have welcomed it.
Eco-activists Shravan Kumar Singh and Anand Rai said the move proved that if the administration wants, it can check pollution in the river.
“The arrangements should be permanent. All ghats should have dustbins and proper system for regular cleaning,” said an activist.