In an attempt to protect the sea coast from soiling, city-based green activists have transformed their housing society’s swimming pool into an artificial pond for Ganesh immersions. Environmentalist Chinu Kwatra, founder of Beachwarrior, known for organising beach clean up drives across the maximum city, conceived the idea of planting artificial ponds at beaches two years back. However, due to the logistical limitations and risk factors involved, Kwatra had to drop the idea.
Meanwhile, amid the pandemic outbreak, the Mumbai civic body has already created 167 artificial ponds in all 24 of its wards. This gave Kwatra the idea to make his own pond within the society.
"Previously, I wanted to make artificial ponds on the beaches, so that people can immerse their idols in the ponds instead of soiling the beach. However, this idea of mine never materialised due to logistical limitations," Kwatra told FPJ.
"With civic bodies having formed their own artificial ponds to ensure social distancing, I implemented this idea in my own housing society," he added.
Kwatra, along with his team members, have transformed the abandoned swimming pool of his housing society into a pond by installing gunny bags and plastic sheets. The water level in the pond is up to four feet. In the first two days, 12 idols have been immersed in the ponds so far and as many as 30 idols will be immersed in the pond in the next ten days.
Kwatra also stated that all the idols are eco-friendly and made of clay. Thus, after the immersion, the clay will be used for planting trees. "All the idols are eco-friendly and both the water and melted clay will be used for planting trees," he added.
The environmentalist also stated that this has been a pilot project. Henceforth, he will reach out to the civic body and residential organisations to promote the idea of having their own artificial pond within the premises of society instead of soiling the beach.
"The sea gets immensely polluted during Ganesh Visarjan. This was a pilot project and, henceforth, we will be urging people across the state to have their own artificial ponds in the society, as this is both cost-effective and eco-friendly at the same time," the environmentalist concluded.