Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

How A 'Bonedi' Durga Puja In Kolkata Is Setting A New Green Trend In The City

The 190-year old Durga Puja at Girish Bhawan in Kolkata is setting a new trend among the traditional and 'Bonedi' homes in the city.

Navratri: Durga idol immersion in Nadia
Durga idol immersion in Nadia, West Bengal Photo: PTI

A 190-year-old Durga Puja in Kolkata is setting a new eco-friendly trend among the city's 'Bonedi' Durga Pujas by becoming the first to immerse its Durga idol in an artificial tank. The tradition in these 'Bonedi Baris' or erstwhile elite households in south Kolkata is to immerse their Durga idols in the Adi Ganga canal, which has been plagued by pollution.

This year, however, the Girish Bhawan puja committee decided to turn over a new led by immersing their idol in a water tank the portico of the mansion in Bhawanipur on Bijaya Dashami.

 "We decided to contribute to the Ganga rejuvenation project from this year onwards, that's why we took this initiative," Anirban Mukherjee who spearheaded the environment-friendly move by his family home of Girish Bhawan said on Thursday.

"Water jets were used for dissolving the idol, and the remnants were stored in sacks as those will be re-used next year for making the idol. We followed the vision of reduce, recycle and reuse," he added.

Making Durga immersion greener

The ten-day festival of Navratri or Durga Puja in West Bengal is concluded with the immersion of idols in water bodies.  Community Durga Puja committees and the 'Bonedi Baris' immerse their idols either in the Hooghly river or in nearby waterbodies. The water pollution is caused by toxic paints used in the idols, besides decorative items.

The police and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) have readied 16 ghats along the Hooghly river, and several other water bodies for the immersion ceremony, which is expected to continue till October 8. 

The water pollution is caused by toxic paints used in the idols, besides decorative items. Over the last few years, the KMC has been using cranes to lift the idols from the water within minutes of immersion, to tackle pollution in the Hooghly.

Puja committees have also been using environmentalism as a theme for their pandals. The Kashi Bose Lane Durga Puja, for instance, was based on a soil conservation theme and was built using sustainable materials including the idol.

(With inputs from PTI)