This 22-ft-tall eco-friendly Bappa in Mumbai’s Fort is actually ‘green’ | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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This 22-ft-tall eco-friendly Bappa in Mumbai’s Fort is actually ‘green’

Bappa can be seen sitting cross-legged, on a lotus flower with decorations done on the idol using water colour so that it easily dissolves into the sea without harming the marine eco-system

Ganpati festival Updated: Sep 15, 2016 14:23 IST
Badri Chatterjee

Shree Asthavinayak Mitra Mandal at Fort celebrates its 5th year of eco-friendly Ganpati festival in Mumbai on Tuesday.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

A mandal in Fort -- Shree Ashtavinayak Mitra Mandal – took the concept of eco-friendly celebrations to another level. Not only did they keep their decorations eco-friendly, but they also made a 22-ft green idol of the Lord.

The idol, sitting cross-legged on a lotus flower, has been painted using water colour, which easily dissolves in the sea without harming the marine eco-system. “Our idea was to show that you don’t need to use plaster of Paris (PoP) to make 20-ft tall idols. We have replicated the look of the idols placed by Ganesh Galli and Lalbaug mandals in their inaugural year,” said Ravi Shetty, mandal president.

Read: From chocolate to cow dung, Ganpati to come in all forms this time

Six hundred A4 size papers were used to mould the bamboo to make the idol. “The process took nearly two months, after which we got 35mm synthetic grass from Kalyan and Koparkhairne. It was stuck on the idol using natural gum,” said Shetty, adding natural grass could not be used owing to inadequate water and sunlight in the pandal.

The idol will be stripped of the artificial grass and the bamboo used to build the frame will be immersed at Girgaum Chowpatty on Thursday. “PoP idols leave deposits on the seabed, which is harmful to marine life. We request all mandals to shift to eco-friendly idols and compete for the best idol in this category next year,” said Shetty.

Read: Demand for eco-friendly idols rises

Officials from the state pollution control board identified the mandal as eco-friendly crusaders.

“For the past five years, this mandal has been making eco-friendly idols with an average height of 20-ft using clay or paper pulp. The concept is fantastic as they are challenging famous mandals to shift to environment-friendly ways of celebrating the festival,” said Sanjay Bhuskute, public relations officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.