BHOPAL : The festival season has begun and so has the season of polluting water bodies with impunity. Many water bodies of the city have turned into huge nullahs, what with hundreds nay thousands of Ganesh idols being immersed into them on Sunday and Monday.
The Municipal Corporation and the National Green Tribunal had made strenuous efforts to ensure that only eco-friendly idols (without use of PoP and chemicals) are made and that they are immersed in mobile immersion tanks and specified ponds.
However, their efforts have succeeded only partially and several water bodies in the city have got choked with Ganesh idols.
The number of Ganesh Pandals in the city has been going up exponentially year after year and the idols are getting bigger and grander.
Apart from the idols other Puja items including coconuts, flowers and ash are also dumped into the water bodies.
Polluted water bodies not only harm the environment but can also become sources of many diseases. Dr. Jayshree Nadkarni, Associate Professor, GMC said that the colors used in these idols are the most harmful substances and they get dissolved into the water. Lead and mercury are used in the preparation of these colours which may cause serious health problems including neuropathic disorders, gastritis and even cholera. Their indirect consumption through fresh water fishes living in these water bodies is more even dangerous as the heavy metals and dangerous chemicals start accumulating in the body.
Besides, these dumped items ultimately settle down in the bed of the water bodies, thus reducing their water-holding capacity.
BMC Commissioner Tejaswini S Nayak said that this year, the quantum of dumped material is much less than earlier years “I would consider it as a positive sign. Most of the idols have been immersed in earmarked water bodies. There are certain groups which only celebrate Ganesh Utsav and Navratri just for the heck of it. It is the duty of the religious groups to make them understand the actual meaning of these festivals. Administration alone cannot solve this problem. Once the festival season is over, we will clean the water bodies”.
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