Mumbaiites seem to have finally woken up to the perils of polluting water bodies with nirmalya (floral offerings and non-biodegradable waste) during Ganeshotsav.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the city generated approximately 1,800 metric tonnes of nirmalya this year, 600 metric tonnes less compared to 2011 and 1,420 metric tonnes less compared to 2010.
Of the festival waste collected this time, around 620 metric tonnes was floral while the rest was non-biodegradable waste. The civic body used 136 nirmalya vans to collect the floral and other non-bioderadable waste dumped at 50 immersion spots between September 19 and 30. The BMC will convert the nirmalya into manure at 16 locations across the city, thus generating 270 metric tonnes of manure.
Of the 620 metric tonnes of floral waste, western suburbs generated the highest waste, 273 metric tonnes, followed by island city that generated 173 metric tonnes of floral waste and eastern suburbs at 167 metric tonnes.
“These days, people are aware of the harm caused by the decorative items used in pandals and houses during the Ganesh festival. From the waste collected, there were fewer non-biodegradable items such as thermocol and PVC items,” said Seema Redkar, officer on special duty, solid waste management department (SWM), BMC.
“People have realised that though considered holy, nirmalya does pollute water bodies. The change in attitude has helped reduce the waste,” said SG Chitale, chief engineer, SWM department, BMC.