Bengaluru: Every year, one of the concerns expressed by the conservationists at the time of Ganesha Chaturti celebrations is lake pollution due to the immersion of Ganesha idols. Even though the Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols have been banned, many organisations were using them illegally. Clay idols were painted with toxic colours adding burden to the lakes.
However, for a change, this year the lakes are not under the pressure, thanks to the Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations SOP finalised by BBMP. The strict guidelines including cap on the height of the idols, and so on has brought down the number of Ganesha pandals in the City.
Officials estimated that around 250 public Ganesha pandals were opened this year compared to a few thousand in the pre Covid – 19 era. D. Randeep, BBMP Additional Commissioner informed that in 160 wards only one Ganesha idol have been kept as the various Ganesha committees agreed not to install more idols. “Only 250 committees received permission to keep Ganesha idols in public places,” he informed.
Adding to this, the number of idols kept at home also has come down drastically. According to the authorities, thousands of families are back to their native places while those who stayed back in Bengaluru City have not shown much interest to keep the idols due to various reasons including financial stress.
Adding to this the BBMP shortlisted only 20 lakes for the idol immersion. Idol immersion was banned in 60 lakes which were earlier known for the idol immersion.
“No one will be allowed to immerse the idols directly into the lake. They need to immerse it in the artificial tank kept by BBMP in front of all the lakes. BBMP staff will immerse the idols in the lake water later,” explained officials.
All these factors have now ensured that the number of idols immersed in the lakes come down drastically. It has saved the lake ecology.