It's been five days since Durga Puja festivities drew to a close. However, artificial ponds, built in Greater Noida and Noida, still waiting to be cleared of the debris of idols immersed into them. But the authorities of the respective areas have not taken any initiative in this direction as yet.
The Noida Authority had built as many as 10 artificial ponds for immersion of Durga idols at various places in the city including Women Park, Harola in Sector 5, Ramlila Ground of Sector 46, Sector 116 and others. The Greater Noida Authority had built two such ponds this year.
Worn out flowers and puja material were not only dumped in the pond but also can be found strewn all around them. Residents fear the polluted water of the pond could turn out breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Sumit Gupta, a resident of Noida, said, “Thousands of people visited the immersion grounds, but none taken the initiative to clean them till now. The waste, including banned plastic, can be seen lying around emitting foul smell.”
“All the ponds have a similar story to tell. They are all left to rot as no effort has been made by the authorities to remove the waste from them,” he added.
The residents living near the sites of immersion ponds are a worried lot. They fear outbreak of dengue and lack of safety around the pond. Pushkar Chandna, tweeted, “Since the authority has not installed barricades near the ponds it could prove death trap for the children.”
He lamented that the Noida Authority did not carry out proper work.
Environmentalists in the region too are concerned over the polluted ponds. They fear the pollutants could seep into underground water through the ponds, as there is no impervious lining to prevent leachates from going underground, and contaminate it.
Talking to CitySpidey, Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist said, "As per the Central Pollution Control Bureau (CPCB), the artificial ponds should be dismantled within 48 hours and all the waste material should be collected by the concerned body.”
He said the ponds were not only harmful for the underground water but will also pollute the soil. There will be a problem to reconstruct the areas in the park where the ponds were built because of the harmful pollutants used in making the idols.
He also added that the artificial ponds were insufficient. "Since the ponds were built in the city area, villagers were left with no choice but to immerse the idols in lakes and natural ponds.”
Notably, the move by the authorities to built these artificial ponds was greeted with cheers by the residents of Noida and Greater Noida. Many felt this would lessen the environmental burden on Yamuna and Hindon river.