Thane society to cut down on band-baaja, pollution this Ganpati

New Brahmand Cooperative Housing Society has opted for a clay Ganesh for the upcoming festival, along with curbs on noise and air pollution; the residents have opted for clay idols in their homes

In a city where civic concerns and adherence to the law take a backseat during festivals, a few responsible residents of Thane have come forward to help fellow residents avoid all the trouble in the upcoming Ganesh festival, and also do their bit in conserving the environment.

The society’s water harvesting pit has been made an immersion facility. A thick plastic sheet will be placed in the pit to hold the clay after immersion
The society’s water harvesting pit has been made an immersion facility. A thick plastic sheet will be placed in the pit to hold the clay after immersion

New Brahmand Cooperative Housing Society, Phase-7 on Ghodbunder Road, has opted for a clay Ganesh idol for the society’s public festival. Its office-bearers have even convinced 50 odd members of the 266-flat society to go for the same in their homes.

“Over all these years we have realised that we were polluting the Kolshet creek by immersing our idols there. We have been causing air and sound pollution. We also caused inconvenience to people by taking out huge processions with dhol baaja for taking the idol home and then for immersion,” said society secretary Bhushan Pednekar, adding that they wanted to change everything from this year.

The society is expected to save at least Rs 50,000 which would have been spent on processions, said Pednekar. This year, there will be no procession and no colours or gulal will be used. There will be no band or baaja. A few residents will go to the nearby Patlipada’s Shri Ganeshalaya of Prasad Vijay Lad, a manufacturer of eco-Ganapatis, and quietly bring home the idols for installation.

The in-house sound system will follow noise norms whenever there is arati and cultural programmes. The decoration of the idol will also be eco-friendly. Incidentally, Brahmand Phase 7 was adjudged as one of the best-managed societies in the Thane Vaibhav awards function, which awards housing societies on various parameters like cleanliness, sanitation and waste management, early this year.

The society’s water harvesting pit has been made an immersion facility. A thick plastic sheet will be placed in the pit to hold clay after immersion, which will then be given to the idol maker or used in the society garden. Puja material like flowers and garlands will be decomposed for producing organic compost for the garden.

We will reach out to other societies (almost 30 in the vicinity) with our eco-friendly initiative. We will appeal to them to immerse their idols in our facility,” said society Chairman S Ramnarayan.

Cops impressed
Police officials were impressed when Brahmand Phase 7 treasurer Mansing Pawar told a meeting of all societies in the jurisdiction of Kasarvadavali station as to how his society had planned this year’s celebrations.

The police had called societies to sensitise them about traffic arrangements for the processions, various clearances to be granted by authorities and maintenance of law and order during the festival. “Police officers called me after the meeting and asked for our plan so that they can appeal to other societies to take similar initiatives,” Pawar told mid-day on Monday.

Senior Inspector D D Tele of Kasarvadavali police station was all praise for the society. “This is a good beginning. I wish more societies and individuals follow the example set by Brahmand Phase 7 society. Such initiatives will lessen the burden on the police force, and the environment in particular,” said Tele.

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