Drought-hit Latur locals donate Ganesh idols
Less rainfall, severe water crisis force Latur district to almost do away with visarjan; mandals to reuse idols next year
Latur: At a time when most parts of the state are facing a flood-like situation, Maharashtra's Latur district is hit by the worst drought in years.
Less rain has left the district parched with most ganpati mandals and households donating their idols to the district administration and idol makers instead of immersing them. While some of them have managed to immerse the idols at home, about 39 mandals did the same in adjacent districts.
Speaking to mid-day, Deputy Mayor of Latur Municipal Corporation, Devidas Kale, said, "Water is supplied to the district after every 15 days and over the past three years, the catchment areas of Majar river have not received good rainfall. At present the dam has only 5MLD of water in storage. Daily 125 tankers provide drinking water in the district. Due to a severe shortage of water we came up with the idea of donating idols. Some of the idols have been donated to idol makers and some to the district administration to be kept near the five immersion points."
District collector, G Shrikant said, "Prior to visarjan we held a meeting with ganpati mandals, police and other social workers to inform them about donating idols, reinstalling the same next year and immersing the eco-friendly ones at home. The response was good, as 59 mandals decided to reinstall the same idols next year, 12 idols were given to idol makers, 207 ganpati mandals donated their idols to us and 39 mandals chose to immerse them at adjacent districts. Citizens collected a total of 320 idols and handed them to us. The cops too played an important role in supporting the initiative."
Meanwhile, Ausa Hanuman Sanskrutik Ganesh Mandal president, Nagesh Kanade, said, "As our idol is made of fibre, we sprinkle water on it and preserve it for the following year. We have been doing this for the past 18 years. We donate a small idol to the administration."
Also Read: Ganesh Visarjan 2019: BMC collects 1082 tonnes of Nirmalya during immersion of Lord Ganesha
Raja Ganesh Mandal president, Shyam Jadhav, said, "This year we did not organise a visarjan procession considering the same money can be used to get water tankers for residents."
When contacted, Additional Police Commissioner, Himmat Jadhav, said, "We conducted a meeting with the mandals much before Ganesh Chaturthi, which resulted in a good response."
No. of mandals to reinstall the same idols next year
No. of idols donated by mandals
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