Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: Mandals in Mumbai vow to go green
After a tepid response to the plastic ban last year, city mandals, big and small, put in place measures to curb plastic use
More than a year since the plastic ban came into effect, Ganesh mandals have decided to spread awareness through the festival. With Ganeshotsav barely two weeks away, Mumbaicha Samrat Khetwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal conducted their Aagman Sohala on Sunday by holding up placards of 'Say No To Plastic' during the procession.
Bigger mandals have decided to set up plastic crushers and use butter paper bags to distribute prasad for the 10-day long festival. Even though the ban on single-use plastic came into effect last June, it has been hardly successful over the past one year. Plastic bags were reportedly back in the market within a couple of months of the ban. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected over 60,000 kg of plastic in the last year and has imposed a total fine of R3 crore. The ban on using thermocol and plastic items had hit Ganeshotsav festivities last year. However, Ganesh Mandals were later allowed to use them. But this year they have come forward to help the environment in ways they can.
Plastic crushers were installed at the Lalbaugcha Raja pandal last year
Mumbaicha Samrat Khetwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (sixth lane), has decided to collect plastic waste generated by all the 24 mandals in Khetwadi area. They will set up a special enclosure (20X15 feet) for storing the collected plastic waste, which would then be sent for recycling.
President of the mandal, Kiran Ram Shinde, said, "We will send letters to all the mandals in the area regarding plastic waste collection. Our volunteers will visit the 24 mandals and collect the waste which will then be sent to the civic body's environment department for recycling. Even on Sunday during our Aagman Sohala we promoted plastic ban and spread awareness regarding it as well."
Support from big mandals
While Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal will install plastic crushing machines, Chinchpoklicha Chintamani has decided to stop using plastic bags. The Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, popularly known as Andhericha Raja, plans to spread awareness by asking devotees not to bring plastic bags to the mandal, and in case they do, the volunteers would ensure that plastic waste is separated from the wet and dry wastes.
Sudhir Salvi, secretary of Lalbaugcha Raja, said, "We supported the ban last year as well but not many were aware of it. We had installed plastic crushers, which will be set up this year as well. Two each will be placed at the Mukhdarshan and Charansparsh queues." Praneel Panchal, vice-president of Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, said, "We will stop using plastic bags for distributing prasad. Instead we will use butter paper bags and also put up posters to spread awareness about the ban." Meanwhile, Uday Salian, spokesperson of Andhericaha Raja, said, "We cannot stop devotees from using plastic but we will put up posters to make them aware that it is illegal. As a policy decision, our mandal stopped using plastic bags to give out prasad three years back. We support the government's decision and will contribute in spreading awareness."
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