Arrangements in place for idol immersion: Govt

Enclosures formed to avoid accidents

The city government has assured Delhi High Court that arrangements have been made for idol immersion in Yamuna during Durga puja, after it was alleged that civic authorities have failed to comply with a 2009 undertaking on building enclosures.

Filing an affidavit before Justice Rajiv Shakdher, the Delhi government told the court that “a meeting was held on October 12 at the level of Secretary (Environment) regarding construction of designated enclosures for immersion of idols in the river Yamuna.

“The affidavit said the Irrigation and Flood Control department has made enclosures at Ram Ghat, Kudesai Ghat, Geeta Ghat and Kalindi Kunj for the immersion of idols and proper signages have been put up indicating “Danger, deep water ahead, entry prohibited” in Hindi and English.

DDA would make arrangements of lighting and provide other infrastructures, while the MCDs would provide civic amenities including toilets for general public, besides cleaning up the river banks after idol immersion, according to the affidavit.
Delhi Police would take care of traffic management and maintain law and order at the sites during the idol immersion.

After the government assured the court to comply with the court’s earlier directions, Justice Shakdher has sought compliance report from the authorities.

The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Tapas, an NGO alleging that the authorities have failed to construct permanent enclosures on Yamuna bank for immersion of idols and other items during festivals in compliance with its 2006 order and also MCD’s undertaking to the court in 2009 to build 13 special enclosures.

In 2006, the court had directed the MCD to make special permanent enclosures on a PIL seeking direction to maintain the river Yamuna clean and pollution free. In 2009, the agency had given an undertaking to the court to complete the project by 2011 but the agency failed to comply with it.

The petitioner alleged that every year, the MCD makes temporary ghats during the festive season but their condition was pathetic.

Referring to a media report, the petitioner’s lawyer contended that due to lack of preparedness of authorities, some children had drowned in the river during the immersion of Ganesh idols last month.

The NGO had, earlier, said the government authorities were passing the buck on the issue.

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