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The Union Government has issued a 15-point directive, including cordoning off ghats and imposing a fine of Rs 50,000, to prevent immersion of idols in the Ganga or its tributaries during festivals.

The directive has been issued by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to chief secretaries in 11 Ganga basin states.

“No idol immersion into river Ganga and its tributaries and on their banks,” stated the directive, which was issued after a meeting between representatives of states and NMCG officials last month.

Officials from Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal were present during the meeting, according to reports.

Apart from these states, the directive has been sent to Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Reports further added that officials were told to strictly implement norms against the immersion of idols and disposal of puja material in the Ganga and its tributaries, and to make suitable alternative arrangements in an environmental-friendly manner.

Issued under Section 5 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the directive further stated, “River bank and ghats should be imposed Rs 50,000 fine for idol immersion in Ganga, tributaries: Centre to states cordoned off and barricaded to prevent any stray immersion of idols in the river or its banks. Adequate arrangements should be made for designated idol-immersion sites within the municipal area or bank of river Ganga and its tributaries by constructing temporary confined ponds with removable synthetic liners at the bottom.”

Now the question arises, why similar directives are not issued in case of Brahmaputra and its tributaries.

The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries witnesses immersion of idols in thousands even during the Durga Puja every year, apart from immersions during other festivals.

The idols with all its toxic substances pollute the river and its tributaries thus causing harm to the aquatic lives.

Fresh water fishes from the Brahmaputra and its tributaries are hot favourite among the foodies of the state of Assam.

The immersion of idols causes serious damages to the fishes of River Brahmaputra and its tributaries.

This in turn creates health hazards for the consumers.

So concerned circles have demanded similar penalties to prevent immersion of idols in the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries.

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