The Centre has issued a 15-point directive to states, asking them to make elaborate arrangements to check pollution in the Ganga river and its tributaries during the festive season, including immersion of idols which could attract a fine of Rs 50,000.
A directive dated September 16, issued by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga, said no idol immersion should be allowed in Ganga river and its tributaries.
It has also asked state government officials to submit an action-take report within seven days after the end of festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Vishwakarma Puja, Dussehra, Deepawali, Chath Puja and Saraswati Puja.
If anyone is found violating the order, "Rs 50,000 as environment compensation should be levied, collected and deposited with state pollution control boards", the directive said.
It has asked district magistrates to enforce the directive.
"River banks and ghats should be cordoned off and barricaded to prevent any stray immersion of idols in the rivers or its banks. Adequate arrangements should be made for designated idol immersion sites within the municipal area or bank of river Ganga and its tributaries by constructing temporary confined ponds with removable synthetic liners at the bottom, the directive said.
The directive also cited studies on deteriorating water quality.
The NMCG had held a meeting with the officials of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal on September 12, and urged them for strict implementation related to immersion of idols and disposal of pooja material into river Ganga and its tributaries.