Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: Mumbai shuns artificial ponds, prefers natural waterbodies
Data from past five years shows a slight improvement in the use of such ponds for visarjan, but the majority prefer natural water bodies
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) initiative of eco-friendly immersion of Ganpati idols in artificial ponds has seen a slight increase in the past five years. However, data from these years also shows that the majority of devotees have stuck to traditional ways of visarjan (in the sea, lakes, ponds etc).
In 2017, a total of 2.32 lakh Ganpati idols were immersed in the city, of which only 29,283 were immersed in artificial ponds. The data shows an increase in Ganpati idols as well, as more people have started celebrating Ganeshotsav.
According to the civic body, this year, as also last year, over 31 artificial ponds have been created for visarjan. The idea was mooted decades back to control environmental damage, as all Ganpati idols are made of plaster of Paris, which is harmful to marine life. A senior civic official said, "Earlier, all Ganpati idols were immersed in the sea or lakes. Then on the day after Anant Chaturdashi (last day of immersion), the sea is full of floating idols, dangerous to marine life."
The official added, "We have proposed two ideas to make Ganeshotsav eco-friendly. Creating artificial ponds and the use of shadu mati (a kind of soil) idols. However, in case of artificial ponds, the response is not good. More awareness is needed among devotees if we want to avoid damage to marine life."
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