After the one-and-a-half day immersions on Tuesday night when 68,353 idols were immersed, volunteers and municipal workers collected eight truckloads of idol parts and plastic from Versova beach in the last two days.
This year, the number of idols immersed after one-and-a-half days of the festival was 2,428 more than last year with a 36% increase in immersions of household idols (see box).
Versova residents said they collected 25,000kg of garbage from the southern end, the dirtiest section, of the beach.
The group is gearing up for the next clean-up drive post immersions on Friday and Saturday. “We had 15 residents from Versova and 12 civic body workers and the clean-up drive was broken into three segments – 8pm to 12am on Tuesday night, 7am to 10.30 pm on Wednesday and Thursday near Sagar Kutir end of the Versova beach,” said Afroz Shah, founder, Versova Residents’ Volunteers (VRV). “More than 200 people will be cleaning up the beach following the next round of immersions.”
Shah added that separate teams will be deployed on the beach as well as deeper into the sea to collect plastic and idol parts.
Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ward office said that the 40 civic workers, an excavator machine, a collection bin for flower waste and tractors had been deployed at both Juhu and Versova beach for the rest of the immersion days.
“We collected broken parts of a total of 3,000 idols from Versova and 6,700 from Juhu Chowpatty alone,” said Parag Masurkar, ward officer. “This time there was a low tide during the one-and-a-half day immersion, so most of the idols were immersed deeper into the sea and less idols floating close to the shoreline.”
Masurkar added that last year over all 10 days, 34,000 idols were collected from Juhu and Versova.
Comparison of total immersions during one-and-a-half days of festival in 2015 and 2016
|Immersions in 2016||Immersions in 2015|
|68,353 total immersions||65,925 total immersions|
|330 Sarvajanik idol immersions||270 Sarvajanik idol immersions|
|68,023 household idol immersions||65,655 household idol immersions|
|Of the above||Of the above|
|13,926 idols immersed at artificial immersions sites||10,996 idols immersed at artificial immersions sites|
|155 Sarvajanik idols||39 Sarvajanik idols|
|13,766 household idols||10,957 household idols|
(Source: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation)