In 2022, till the sixth day, a total of 1,40,033 idols including household, sarvajanik and Gauri figurines, were immersed
A devotee immerses a Ganesh idol in an artificial pond at Ghatkopar on September 23. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
The trend of immersing idols in natural spots is yet to end. As of Monday, 88,000 out of the 1.48 lakh idol immersions carried out so far (60 per cent) this year have been in natural water sources. In 2022, almost the exact number of idols were immersed in natural bodies by the sixth day. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) failed to ensure more immersions take place in artificial ponds this year as it has provided only 194 of the 300 man-made ponds promised; last year the number was 164.
In 2022, till the sixth day, a total of 1,40,033 idols including household, sarvajanik and Gauri figurines, were immersed. Out of these, 87,832 (63 per cent) were immersed in 72 natural spots. This year, though the total number of idols slightly increased to 1,48,355, the number of immersions in natural bodies remained the same.
Around 1.90 lakh to 2 lakh idols come for immersion every year. The BMC initiated an idea of artificial ponds in 2008 to keep natural bodies pollution-free. Though the number of artificial ponds has increased from two in 2008 to 194 this year, it is still not adequate. During the pandemic years, the BMC provided a transport system and during this period, the percentage of artificial lake immersion was more than 50. But the figure plummeted last year after the restrictions were removed.
This year though there is a slight increase in artificial lake immersion from 37 to 40 per cent, the BMC needs to provide at least double the number of such ponds to avoid water pollution. “At least 8,000 more idols have been immersed in artificial ponds compared to last year. The response has been increasing every year and we appealed to devotees to go to artificial ponds for immersion,” said a civic official.