Ishita Bhatia| TNN | 


  • This rather strange event organized by members of Shri Ayutchandi Mahayagya Samiti will see the wood being burnt in 108 fire-pits
  • The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board has refused to intervene in the matter as “it is related to a particular religion”
MEERUT: Nearly 350 Brahmins from Varanasi gathered at the Bhainsali ground of Meerut city on Sunday morning to begin a nine-day-long ‘mahayagya’ in which they will burn 500 quintals of mango wood to “reduce pollution”. This rather strange event organized by members of Shri Ayutchandi Mahayagya Samiti here has 108 hawan kunds (fire pits) made in a 125×125 square feet yagyashala (where priests sit to perform rituals). The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), in the meanwhile, has refused to intervene in the matter as “it is related to a particular religion”, and said there was no policy under which a probe can be issued in the matter.

R K Tyagi, regional officer of UPPCB in Meerut, said, “Burning such large quantities of wood will definitely cause pollution. But there is no policy under which a probe can be issued in this matter — so there is little that we can do. It will also be inappropriate for me to comment on the event.”

Wearing saffron robes, members of the Hindu body, some as young as 16, sat around the fire pits even as they suffered watery and bloodshot eyes from the smoke filling up the venue and billowing out.


Hey Bhagwan … Height of foolishness but cant be questioned becoz it is being done under d name of religion. God save my countryVishal Ganjoor

“We bought mango wood to be burnt after pouring ghee made of cow milk in all the 108 hawan kunds. In Hinduism, it is believed that yagya leads to purification of air. There is no scientific evidence to it because no research has been done so far. City residents will see purer air once the yagya is complete,” said Girish Bansal, vice president, Shri Ayutchandi Mahayagya Samiti.

The members also said that the ritual will be “complete” only after one crore oblations are made in the hawan kunds. The committee has even distributed pamphlets instructing those willing to contribute to the event: 100 quintals of black sesame seeds, 60 quintals of rice, 30 quintals of barley and 150 ghee boxes.

Gyanendra Agarwal, president of the group, said, “Mango wood burnt after pouring pure ghee does not cause pollution. We are also adding sesame seeds, rice and barley to aid the purification process. According to a scientific report, the Ozone layer above our country is the least damaged because of frequent yagyas.”