Upcoming Ardh Kumbh to be plastic-free: Harsh Vardhan

ALLAHABAD, INDIA - JANUARY 23: Hindu pilgrims gather to bathe at sunrise at the ritual bathing site at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers during the Ardh Kumbh Mela festival (Half Pitcher festival) January 23, 2007 in Allahabad, India. Today is one of the major bathing days of the festival celebrating the first day of spring in North India. Tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims have already attended the 45 day festival in northern India which is the largest religious gathering in the world. The festival commemorates the mythical conflict between gods and demons over a pitcher filled with the 'nectar of immortality'. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges at this time washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The Environment Ministry is planning to make next year’s Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad plastic-free in line with the country’s commitment to eliminate single-use plastic, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

India was the global host of 2018 World Environment Day. The theme of this year’s edition was “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

“We are intending to have a plastic-free (Ardh) Kumbh next January. We are starting preparations (for it),” Vardhan said.

He acknowledged that making the Ardh Kumbh plastic-free will be an uphill task.

“We are working on making this (Ardh) Kumbh plastic-free as it is a very tall order but it is a part of our (government’s) dream. We are already working towards beating plastic pollution all over the country but imagine a plastic-free Kumbh. It is something we are planning to do next,” Vardhan told PTI.

Ardh Kumbh Mela, one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, is held every six years. It will be held in January next year.

Millions of Hindu pilgrims stream to Allahabad to bathe in the holy river Ganga to wash away their sins during the festival. The Government’s idea of a plastic-free Ardh Kumbh was welcomed by environmentalists.

It is a “fantastic decision” but the success of a policy depends on its implementation. So if it can be implemented properly, then nothing like it, environmentalist Padmavati Dwivedi said.

Environment activist, Jagannath Poddar, pointed out that the move will have to be implemented strictly.

“The use of plastic has increased because public has become lazy. Having a plastic-free Kumbh would require strict implementation,” he said, stressing that people need to use plastics sensibly.

He recommended finding alternatives to plastic.

Newspaper bags would be an effective alternative for plastic bags, banana leaves can be used instead of plastic plates and earthen pots can be used for storing liquids, Poddar said.

Post source : https://www.dailypioneer.com/2018/india/upcoming-ardh-kumbh-to-be-plastic-free--harsh-vardhan.html

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