Nat’l green tribunal raps TMC over its ‘eco-friendly’ claims on visarjan

  • | Thursday | 28th September, 2023

Thane: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has rapped Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) over its eco-friendly idol visarjan claims after a city-based activist sought its intervention by pointing out how the civic body was releasing immersion residue, including floral waste and sludge, from artificial ponds into creeks.Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh, judicial member, and Dr Vijay Kulkarni, expert member of NGT, western zone bench, Pune, heard the petition filed by activist Rohit Joshi after he observed violations of the mandate laid down in the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and Central Pollution Control Board for idol immersions.Joshi told TOI norms discourage dumping of immersion residue from temporary visarjan sites into natural water bodies. We told the bench how the corporation had, through its RTI reply, said it was collectively releasing idol immersion residue from these ponds in either the Thane, Desai or Mumbra creek. It may be noted the corporation built 42 artificial ponds and 15 tanks as alternative immersion sites. TMC has been discouraging residents from immersing idols in creeks, claiming it was harming water bodies.We also told the bench the waterfront here was ecologically sensitive while Thane has already been declared as Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and dumping residue collectively weighing in tonnes could cause massive ecological damage, said Joshi.The bench, after being convinced, directed TMC to comply with norms and directed MPCB to keep tabs and submit a compliance report.We have received the order and will take corrective action as per... mandate, said Manisha Pradhan, chief at the pollution control department at TMC. Officials clarified there will be no interruption in the immersion process for citizens, neither at the artificial ponds nor at visarjan ghats, as the order governs post-immersion procedure to be followed by TMC.Activists said the order came as a lesson for netas and civic bodies and expressed hope of a corrective change in future. Many states discouraged use of thermocol, PoP and other non-biodegradable products but it was not implemented by our state, probably for appeasement politics. This NGT order should prove a deterrent for other civic bodies in the metropolitan region that may be flouting norms and activists must take it up to bring about change in the way we celebrate festivals, said Joshi.We also published the following articles recentlyNGT raps Thane civic body over its eco-friendly idol visarjan claimsThe Thane municipal corporation (TMC) has been criticized by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for its claims of eco-friendly idol visarjan. The NGT took action after a city-based activist pointed out that the corporation was releasing immersion residue, including floral waste and sludge, from artificial ponds into the creeks. The NGT directed the TMC to comply with the norms and submit a compliance report. Activists hope that this order will serve as a deterrent for other corporations and encourage a change in the way festivals are celebrated.20 artificial immersion ponds prepared in cityIn Surat, 20 artificial ponds will be prepared for the immersion of Ganesha idols, with 12 already operational. Idols up to 5 feet tall will be immersed in the ponds, while larger idols will be sent for immersion in the sea. Similar efforts to prevent pollution during idol immersion are being made in other cities such as Berhampur and Nagpur, where artificial ponds and tanks are being set up. The aim is to promote an environment-friendly approach to the festival.Over 80 artificial ponds set up in Delhi to prevent idol immersion in riverOfficials have set up 83 artificial ponds for idol immersion during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Delhi. Civil defence volunteers will be present at all ponds and ghats to ensure no accidents occur and no idols are immersed in the Yamuna River. Last year, there was confusion about where to immerse idols, leading to inconvenience for devotees. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has banned idol immersion in the Yamuna since 2019, and a recent report found no impact on water quality during last years festival.

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