KENDRAPARA: Curtains came down on the five-day Dussera on Thursday with people of riverside villages in Rajnagar block bidding adieu to Goddess Durga by placing Her idols on decorated boats.
The melana or traditional get-together of the deities was held in river Hansua before the boats proceeded to the middle of the river to immerse the idols. People came out in large number to witness the ceremony.
Boatmen, priests and some devotees oared the boats from one village to another and thousands of villagers offered ‘bhog’ to the deities. The ceremony began in the morning and by noon, all the 18 idols were immersed in the river.
However, immersion of idols in the river has not gone down well with the environmentalists as it pollutes the water body.“In other parts of the district, authorities dug up temporary ponds for immersion of the deities.
In Rajnagar block, idols are still immersed in the river. Synthetic paints, clothes, plastic flowers and puja paraphernalia pollute the river,” said Sudhanshu Parida, an environmentalist and the secretary of district unit of Peoples for Animal.