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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai BMC misses target of 300 manmade ponds

Mumbai: BMC misses target of 300 manmade ponds

Updated on: 19 September,2023 08:12 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale | prajakta.kasale@mid-day.com

Significant number of Ganesh idol immersions expected to continue in natural water bodies as civic body says preparations made as per citizens’ demands and last year’s pattern; 191 artificial lakes available

Mumbai: BMC misses target of 300 manmade ponds

A devotee immerses a Ganesh idol in Sion Talao. File pic

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) aimed to double the number of artificial ponds to over 300 this year, it has managed to build only 191. Civic officials reasoned that the ponds have been made based on citizens’ demands and last year’s immersion pattern. As a result, a large number of Ganesh idols will be immersed in natural waterbodies this year too.


The city sees around 1.9 lakh Ganesh idol immersions annually. Of these, around 1.5 to 1.6 lakh are household idols. The civic body was hoping to get most of these immersed in artificial ponds. In 2022, there were 162 artificial ponds made available across Mumbai’s 24 wards. Of the total idols, 34 per cent were immersed in artificial ponds.


For 2023, the civic body aimed to increase the ponds to 300 so that all idols less than four feet could be immersed there. “It has been proven that plaster of paris (PoP is harmful for natural water bodies. Disposing of PoP deposited in artificial lakes is much easier. Hence, we had decided to create more of them,” said a BMC official.


A month ago, Ramakant Biradar, deputy municipal commissioner and conveyor of the Ganesh festival, had told mid-day that the 300 artificial ponds would reduce the load on natural water bodies and help dispose of the clay conveniently.

Also read: Mumbai: Spare trees, get new tech for Malabar Hill reservoir, MLA Lodha tells BMC

Apart from the 191 artificial ponds, there are 69 natural water bodies available for immersion. “We studied last year’s immersion pattern and decided to increase artificial lakes in locations where immersions exceeded capacity. We also took people’s demands into consideration.”

The concept of artificial ponds was mooted by former mayor Shubha Raul in 2008. In 2019, there were 32 artificial lakes. There was a five-fold increase in 2020 and 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant restrictions on public gatherings. Over 50 per cent of immersions were in artificial ponds in these two years.

PoP ban junked

Initially, the BMC enforced a ban on PoP for making idols but later, the state government clarified that there is no ban. Even the decision to tag eco-friendly idols was rescinded considering people’s sentiments. Accordingly, the civic body’s decision to disallow the immersion of idols less than four feet in natural water bodies was also taken back.

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