Varanasi bans idol immersion

Varanasi: District magistrate Rajmani Yadav said adhering to the high court order, instructions have been issued to officials for a complete ban on immersion of idols in Ganga in Varanasi.

The directions have been issued ahead of the festivals so that alternative arrangements can be made.

The idols of would now only be immersed at specific locations such as ponds etc, which would be earmarked as immersing areas by the district administration, the district magistrate said.

The Allahabad high court had ordered a complete ban on immersion of idols in Ganga and Yamuna rivers as a measure to curb pollution and had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure the ban.

Additional district magistrate (City) Vindhyavasini Rai said last year the high court had allowed relaxation for immersion of idols for a year, especially for Varanasi district, as the geographical area turned out to be difficult and it was not feasible to make alternative arrangements immediately.

Now, the year has ended. Instructions have also been issued to puja (festivals) organisers to help authorities in finding out alternative immersion locations, Rai said.