Photographer's Note

Place : River Hooghly, Near North Calcutta,
Date: 03.11.2006,
Occasion: The immersion of Durga Idols,

The Durga Puja is over. The enjoyment and the youthfullness of the nights have also ended. With the end of the Pujas, the empty pandals, the bamboo structures, opened up advertisement hoardings ring a tinge of sadness to everyones mind. But, how many of us are concerned with the pollution that is happening every year to the Hooghly river (as well as to every river where Immersion of the idols take place) after immersion?
Environmentalists said that immersing idols of goddess Durga, with all the accompanying synthetic decorations, has increased pollution levels in the Hooghly river here manifold and endangered the rare river dolphins and fish. The immersion of thousands of idols of Durga and other deities has added around 5,000 litres of paint, hundreds of kilograms of Plaster of Paris as well as toxic synthetic material into the river. Immersing idols, which contain large amounts of non-biodegradable material, is bound to affect the aquatic life of the river.
The impact of immersion has been studied by Central Pollution Control Board. It has been found that Clay/Plaster of Paris used to make the idols increases dissolved solids, suspended solids in water, contribute metals, sludge. Decoration material viz. clothes, polish, paint, ornaments cosmetic items etc contributes to suspended matter, trace metals (Zinc, lead, iron, chromium, arsenic, mercury etc.) metalloids and various organic and inorganic matter, oil & grease etc. Flowers, Garlands, oily substance increase floating suspended matter organic contamination, oil & grease and various organic and inorganic matter. Polythene bags/plastic items contribute suspended, Settleable matter and hazardous material to water and chokes the aquatic life.
I have tried to capture the pollution made during the immersion, also some air pollution from the smoke of the boat and from some industry on the banks of the river.
Next to come: The solution of the problem!
In the Workshop : "Some more pollution!"

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Additional Photos by Sayan Chakrabarti (sayan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 560 W: 76 N: 685] (2617)
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