Mumbai: With many people using eco-friendly Ganpati idols and artificial lakes for immersion purpose, environmentalists say that there is a greater awareness among the people this year.
The demand for eco-friendly Ganesh idols have gone up, with more than 10,000 of them sold out this year. Eco-friendly Ganpati idols are those which are made of material that easily dissolves in water after immersion, without causing major pollution.
Apart from this, there are more than 200 artificial lakes that were constructed for the purpose of Ganpati immersion. At other areas, portion of lakes and ponds in the city were barricaded using a wall-like structure by the local municipal corporation for the devotees to use it for immersion purpose. Debi Goenka, Executive trustee of Conservation Action Trust, said, “Smaller portions of Powai lake and lakes in Thane were barricaded using a wall-like structure by the authorities of Thane Municipal Corporation this year, for the devotees to use it for immersion purpose. Such measures help the local authorities to clean the lake easily. There has been a great awareness since the devotees have opted more for eco-friendly Ganesh idols this year.”
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However, officials from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have taken mud and sea water samples to check the pollution content due to Ganpati immersion this year. The officials collected the samples of sea water and lakes from places like Dadar Chowpatty, Dadar, Mulund, Malad and other areas.
Madukar Lad, Regional Officer at MPCB said, “We collected samples on the first, fifth, seventh and eighth day after the Ganpati idols were immersed into the sea water. It would take eight days to get the results of the various tests which includes Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Dissolve Oxygen (DO) of the water samples.”
Whereas the mud samples would be verified in order to check harmful metal contents like zinc, copper and cadmium. Once the tests are completed, MPCB would frame new guidelines under Ganpati immersions.