‘Wash and melt’: A new environment-friendly method to immerse idols in Kolkata

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Tridhara Akalbodhon, a famous South-Kolkata club, became a trendsetter for immersing idols during the pandemic by using the ‘wash and melt’ method this year. They used water jets to melt the Durga idols, instead of immersing them. The decision has been hailed by many environmentalists too.

For this environment-friendly model, a 400 square feet water body was created next to the pandal. It took around 25000 litres of water to immerse all the five idols. The process was two-hours long. Once an idol meted and the colour peeled off, the water was recycled and used for another idol.

According to a Down to Earth report, the frames were taken to the solid waste disposal site at Dhapa on the eastern fringes of the city, where idols that were immersed in the Hooghly under conventional methods.  

“We decided on this unique method due to COVID-19-induced restrictions. Our cost as well as involvement of manpower was severely minimised,” Debasish Kumar of Tridhara Akalbodhon told Down to Earth. Kumar added he took the cue from the Naihati Kalipuja immersion. He is also a member of Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) board of administrators and in-charge of overall immersion within Kolkata.

“It’s a very good initiative and we will be happy to go ahead with it if KMC wants to expand it in future,” Kalyan Rudra, chairman of West Bengal Pollution Control Board told Down to Earth.

According to the report, environment activist Subhas Datta said the model may help control water pollution in the Ganga. He added that the Tridhara model could be replicated in other states as well. Firhad Hakim, chairman of board of administrators in KMC and erstwhile mayor, told Down to Earth that KMC would consider expanding the scope of ‘wash-and-melt’ model in the coming years.

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