In a clear indication of its apathy towards environment protection, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) seems to have taken an anti-eco-friendly stand by dropping the idea of creating artificial ponds or domestic “Jal Abhishek’s” for immersing the Lord Ganesh idols this year.
However, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the MBMC has issued a circular stating devotees won’t be able to immerse the idols on their own.
Instead, the civic administration has tagged 52 idol collection centers at strategic locations in all the six administrative wards across the twin-city. Devotees can perform the pre-immersion puja at home, and then handover the idol at immersion centres. The initiative would ensure devotees not having to travel long distances for immersion, but also avoid crowding during the festive period in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, officials said. “We will extend our support to immersions facilitated in housing society premises,” said a MBMC officer.
Notably, the twin-city has shown more of its eco-friendly side, as a significant number of devotees of the loving Elephant-Headed God have preferred immersions in the artificial pond created by the MBMC in Mira Road for the betterment of natural water bodies. The encouraging response is evident from the significant jump in the number of eco-friendly immersions from 195 in 2018 to 540 in 2019.
Taking a cue from their counterparts in Pune, the MBMC in 2017 had introduced Jal Abhishek- an unique environment friendly technology which involves mixing of ammonium bicarbonate (baking powder) with water to dissolve idols made of Plaster of Paris.
However, the initiative had failed due to a proper awareness campaign in the twin-city. The total number of Lord Ganesh idols which graced the twin-city during the 11-day festival had touched 20,569 in 2019 as compared to 20,543 in 2018. The figures include the maximum number of household idols. There are 22 public immersion points in the twin-city.