GUWAHATI, Oct 13 - In order to ensure celebration of an eco-friendly Durga Puja this year, the Kamrup Metro district administration has decided to act tough against puja committees found violating environment norms, while providing incentives to those that adopt �green� models.
�It has been decided to encourage celebration of eco-friendly Durga Puja so far as making of idols and puja pandals, keeping pandals and nearby areas free from litter, having proper drainage and other such practices are concerned. Suggestions have been made to puja committees that bio-degradable materials should be used as far as possible,� Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner Dr M Angamuthu told The Assam Tribune.
He added, �In this regard a special �Green Puja� award will be declared for the puja committee which adopts the best environment practices. A jury will be formed to look into it.� Puja committees can apply online for selection.
Dr Angamuthu said that while encouraging green initiatives, the administration will also keep a close tab to ensure that puja committees do not flout environmental norms. �We will act tough against any puja committee found flouting environmental norms and causing pollution. Anyone found to be not adhering to norms, will be penalised,� he said.
Over the years, a lot of complaints have been received regarding noise pollution, piling of garbage and disposal of non-degradable materials during the puja celebrations. Sources said that the Supreme Court directive on allowing use of loudspeakers till only 10 pm will be adhered to during Durga Puja.
�GMC will engage cleaning staff round-the-clock in shifts to keep the public places and drains of the city clean during the festive season, including garbage in and around the puja pandals,� said an official.
Over 400-450 pujas are organised in the city every year and three committees comprising officials from various departments, besides GMC, district administration, police, fire brigade, transport department and others, have been formed to ensure smooth celebration in various zones of the city.
Officials said that directions have also been given to the puja committees not to construct pandals and gates by blocking roads or lanes and to follow instructions of the police and traffic departments regarding construction of pandals and gates.
�Puja committees will also have to arrange standby generators for lighting at least the most strategic points of the pandals in case of power failure, and also have to engage skilled electricians for decoration and lighting arrangements. APDCL will appoint officers for verification of electrical works,� said an official.
The puja committees have been asked to install CCTV cameras within the pandals and engage volunteers for crowd control. NCC and Scouts and Guides will be deployed to assist the police.
�SDRF/NDRF will also deploy sufficient equipment and manpower at immersion ghats. The Inland Water Transport Department will make necessary arrangements at immersion ghats and place vessels for the purpose of immersion of the idols, while GMC will provide manpower for facilitating a smooth and speedy immersion process,� he said.