In Meghalaya, Durga Puja to be plastic free


SHILLONG, Oct 3: The Central Puja Committee (CPC) of Meghalaya has issued an advisory to all the Durga Puja committees in the state asking them to shun the use of plastic during the festivities.

More than 200 Durga Pujas are being organised across the state from October 4 to 8, officials said.

CPC President Naba Bhattacharjee said that responding to the call of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, the committee will put efforts to prevent use of plastic during the upcoming Durga, Kali and Chhath pujas.

“The Durga Puja committees have been asked to prevent use of plastic cups, plates and bottles and encourage the use of biodegradable items. Also, they have been urged to use eco-friendly materials for decorating the pandals (marquee),” he said.

Bhattacharjee said they have also requested the Shillong Municipal Board to open plastic collection centres at all the puja marquees.

He said the committee has also decided to introduce ‘dip and lift’ of idols instead of immersing them into rivers from next year to prevent pollution of the water bodies.

The CPC president said the practice of using natural dyes for painting the idols has been followed this year too.

CPC General Secretary J L Das said there would be a total of 242 community Durga Pujas across the state, including 66 in the state capital.

“A total of 118 marquees would be set up across the four districts of the Khasi Hills region, while there would be 110 community Durga Pujas in Garo Hills region and 14 in the Jaintia Hills,” he said.

Nartiang in the Jaintia Hills is home to a century-old Durga temple.

All the puja pandals would be under CCTV survelliance and there would be maximum security to prevent any untoward incident during the festivities, Das said.

The festivities began on Wednesday, with the chief minister addressing an inter-religious meet here in the presence of Shillong MP Vincent Pala, he said.

Four eminent personalities were presented with the Sarad Sanman Award, 2018 during the programme, Das said.

The CPC general secretary said the committee will undertake a cleaning drive at the immersion ghat at Polo on the banks of Wah Umkhrah river after the festivities are over on October 8.

He urged all the puja committees to immerse the idols only at the designated immersion spot.

Das said the CPC has held a series of meetings with the district administration to ensure peaceful celebration of the Durga Puja.