Noonmati: Marble Idol of Durga Placed to Prevent Pollution

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The Noonmati Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee has taken a unique step to avoid water pollution in the river during the time of immersion of idols.

This time the puja committee has placed the idol of Maa Durga which has been prepared with marbles in the Durga Temple. The idol has been made with a cost of Rs. 8 lakhs. The committee member informed that one Brajen Bodo, an employee of Noonmati Refinery has donated the idol of Maa Durga on the occasion of Durga Puja.

The idol which weighs 800 kg has been made in Rajasthan and its final touch has been given in Kolkata which took about 6 months time to complete the work.

Meanwhile, the Durga puja committees are always asked by the Pollution Control Board and district administration that the idols should be eco-friendly so that it doesn’t create pollution in the river and therefore, eco-friendly colours should be used in the idols.

The pollution control board of Assam instructs the puja committee every year to pick up the idols from the Brahmaputra within 48 hours, but the instruction was never followed by the puja committees neither the board takes any action against it.   

It has always been a concern that the colours of idols pollute the river water which is used for various purposes. As hundreds of thousands of statues are dumped every year, they become the source of river pollution as the idols are made using plaster of Paris and coated with various chemical paints. In Guwahati, the district administration ordered all the puja committees to clean up the river sites within three days where they dumped the idols of the goddess.

Moreover, when contacted an official of the Pollution Control Board of Assam said that the department has not issued any such guidelines to the puja committees for immersion of the idols. The official said that now-a-days the colours used in the idols are eco-friendly and it doesn’t pollute the water. The water gets polluted only when the water remains stagnant but as the flow of Brahmaputra river water is very fast the water does not get polluted and it is not harmful to the people.

However, natural clay, bamboo, coir ropes, straw, etc., should be used instead of baked clay, plaster of paris, synthetic ropes, etc., that cause damage to the environment.

For painting idols, non-toxic water-soluble biodegradable paints have been used. The use of chemical dyes containing heavy metals like lead, cadmium, etc., or carcinogenic organics which cause immense pollution to water sources must not be done and this has been followed by the idol makers. Use of thermocol for decoration of image or puja pandal or as drinking glasses should be avoided, as this material leads to exothermic self-decomposition contributing extra heat to global warming.

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