Civic authorities in Hyderabad have taken up a campaign to promote use of clay idols during the 10-day long Ganesh festival in order to protect the city's water bodies, mainly the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake, from pollution
Hussain Sagar, the lake in the heart of Hyderabad, was built in 1562 to meet irrigation and drinking water needs of the city and it has become a tourist spot over the years while emerging as a landmark in the city.u00a0
Inflows of domestic sewage and industrial effluents have polluted the lake and the water body, which was once the identity and pride of the city, now fights for existence. Large number of Ganesh idols of different sizes prepared with plaster of paris and chemical colours are immersed in the lake every year because of which Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has been conducting a campaign to reduce the harmful impact on Hussain Sagar.
The 10-day long Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, a grand affair in the city, began on Monday. The HMDA officials said they have focused on promoting clay Ganesh idols of smaller sizes and its immersion at "local and domestic level".
The clay Ganesh idols, made in the sizes of 8 inches and three feet, have been supplied at a subsidised price and individual users asked to register online. The HMDA has set up 25 distribution centres across the city, including parks, some schools and Resident Welfare Association (RWAs) areas, the officials said.
The citizens have also been encouraged to use natural colours for painting the clay Ganesh idols instead of using harmful colours. The HMDA has also introduced registration proformas this year for apartment and individual houses to assess the outcome of clay Ganesh idol campaign. It has also taken up the Hussain Sagar Lake and Catchment Area Improvement Project (HCIP) to improve the lake water quality, at a cost of Rs 370 crore.
Under the project, two sewerage treatment plants have been completed and 50 MLD treated water is being released into the water body, the officials said.
Seeking to promote people's involvement in the conservation of Hussain Sagar lake, the HMDA has also promoted a forum for a clean Hussain Sagar comprising concerned citizens, for making them participate in the effort. PTI