Free Press Journal

Eco-friendly immersions a distant dream in twin-city


Mumbai: Devotees during one & half day Lord Ganesha Immerssion at Girgaon chowpatty Mumbai on Tuesday. Photo by BL SONI

Bhayandar: After mysteriously scrapping the project of creating eco-friendly ponds for three consecutive years, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had finally woken up from slumber to replicate the Pune model of mixing of ammonium bi-carbonate (baking powder) with water to dissolve idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP). However, thanks to the half-hearted eleventh hour attempts, the concept failed to attract Lord Ganesh devotees as it managed to appeal only a couple of ardent nature lovers in the twin-city.

According to officials figures, the second day of the festival witnessed a total of 8,031 immersions including 8,027 household and four Sarvajanik Ganesh idols being immersed at the 22 immersion points in the region. The highest number was registered at Shivar garden pond in Mira Road which witnessed 2,145 immersions followed by 1,113 and 1,007 at Bhayandar (east) Chowpatty and Satkari Pond in Mira village respectively.

Apart from offering free packets of ammonium bi-carbonate at the local ward offices, the MBMC not only failed to create awareness about its availability, but also fell short of propagating the perils of immersing idols in natural water bodies. However, the civic body is now making last minute efforts to draw the attention of devotees towards the initiative for the fifth, seventh and tenth day of immersions.

With 1, 964 immersions recorded on the final day, the total number of Lord Ganesha idols which graced the twin-city touched the 17,645 mark last year including final day farewells to 1633 households and 331 Sarvajanik Ganpati idols.

About the concept

The idol is immersed in a bucket or a drum full of water containing a quantum of baking powder (available free at local ward offices) approximately equal to the weight of the idol, this after removal of decorative items. The mixture has to be stirred every 2 to 3 hours and the idol dissolves completely within 48 hours. The residue left is ammonium sulphate-a known fertilizer which can be used for watering plants and eventually  earn blessings of Nature God.