The immersion of idols following the conclusion of the Durga Puja festival left the banks of the Yamuna wearing a sorry look on Sunday as everything from polythene bags to rotting flowers lay strewn on the riverside.
The littering as a result of the immersions on Sunday occurred a couple of days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission here on October 2, with the aim of creating a clean India.
“All the idols (which were immersed) were removed from the river last night and kept on the banks. The civic bodies are in the process of cleaning the banks and taking away the idols for disposal,” said the District Magistrate (East), Kunal.
A senior Delhi government official said more than 760 idols were immersed at six ghats this year, including Kalindi Kunj, Shyam Ghat, Hathi Ghat, Geeta Ghat and Mayur Vihar Ghat.
“This time, we had issued directions for the public and the majority of the people opted to carry out the immersions at the spots designated by the government. “We had held several meetings with registered puja committees, asking them to use only environment-friendly material for the idols so that the river is not harmed,” the official said.
Almost 70 per cent of Delhi’s water needs is fulfilled by the Yamuna and the government has spent nearly Rs 1,500 crore over the past two decades on cleaning the river.