River Yamuna overflowed with bubbling thick foam and filth. Appearing like snow, the toxic froth is full of residential and industrial waste whose foul stench could be smelt from a distance. The river is spilling over and flowing above the danger levels after Haryana opened the Hathnikund barrage in the wake of heavy rains and flash floods in parts of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
The plight of the river worsened after thousands of broken or semi-dissolved idols of Ganesha made of Plaster of Paris and coated with toxic chemicals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and carbon were immersed in the Yamuna on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi which commenced late last month.
Despite Central Pollution Control Board 2010 guidelines on idol immersion which suggest that idol immersion should be allowed only of such idols that are made from biodegradable material and not plastic/Plaster of Paris. Also, the idols should be painted in only those colours that are environment-friendly.
Even after the specific ban by the tribunal on immersion of non-biodegradable idols, there has been a complete failure on the part of the authorities to check the same.