Idol-immersion causes pollution of river Barak

SILCHAR, Oct 28: Barak is the main river among not less than 11 of its tributaries that meander through the length and breadth of Barak Valley after emerging from the hills of Dima Hasao, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura. Barak, the lifeline, has been identified as becoming increasingly polluted due to several factors. The immersion of hundreds of idols of Durga after the holy festival in the river has raised question about the level of corruption among environmentalists and naturalists. According to official information, 246 plus idols alone have been immersed in Barak at the Sadarghat of this town.
Expressing his concern at the phenomenon, Shankar Chakravorty of The Greens felt some alternative arrangement has to be made for immersion if Barak and itsaquatic creatures have to be saved. The decorations, ornamentations as well as the very structures of the idols contain toxic contents tocause pollution.
Civil society thinks the municipal board, the PHE and other agencies along with NGOs campaigning for greenery and ecology should join hands together on the issue to save Barak.
Environmentalists who are otherwise active in holding awareness camps on environmental contaminationare maintaining silence on the problem which, if not addressed to, will assume alarming dimension. According to an NGO, 80 tons of waste materials including chemicals and hospital refuses are dumped every day in Barak. The increasing level of pollution, besides posing human health-hazards, is also threatening the water bodies and aquatic life. It is also a fact that some puja committees have used eco- friendly materials to make idols, but the colours used for decoration are highlytoxic. (SentinelAssam)

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