NEW DELHI: With artificial immersion ponds being dug up at different locations in the city, the pollution control boards plan to conduct more research on toxicity level in water arising from harmful chemicals present in idols.
Earlier this month, the Delhi government had issued a revised list of 129 sites where artificial ponds have been developed to immerse of idols during the festive season. “The purpose of having so many sites is to understand the pattern of toxicity and study in-depth about it.
Based on that, there will be steps for treating polluted water. We are still in a planning stage. So, technically the idea is to treat water in STPs so that it can be used further. That is why it will be monitored first,” said a senior official from Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
Taking an example from Surat where artificial ponds were created before Ganesh idol immersion last year, the Yamuna Monitoring Committee asked authorities to replicate similar steps to curb the pollution load on the Yamuna.
In 2018, tests conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board after immersions following Ganesh and Durga Pujas revealed that concentration of metals such as lead, chromium, nickel and mercury had shot up alarmingly in the Yamuna, rending it unfit even for bathing. “We will be providing liners (base) so that there is percolation in the underground water.
DPCC has issued a direction, now divisional commissioners have to implement it. Civic bodies are involved in the process and in many places, building work has already started,” the official said.
Regarding artificial ponds, water conservationist Manoj Misra said the decision is a welcoming step but added that there were some limitations. “It is a preventive measure to avoid any further pollution of the Yamuna.
Although the step is necessary, the question is how many will be utilising it. Implementing on a full-fledged scale is what needs to looked upon for.”