Artificial lake row: BMC mulls ways to recycle PoP from Ganesh idols
This year, more than 22,000 Ganesh idols were immersed in the 27 artificial lakes created by the BMC across the city. Civic officials have admitted that there is no mechanism to reuse or recycle the material.mumbai Updated: Sep 11, 2014 21:58 IST
If you thought by immersing your Ganesh idol in the artificial lakes made by the civic body you are protecting the sea from pollution, think again. For, according to civic officials, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been dumping the Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols from the artificial ponds into the sea.
This year, more than 22,000 Ganesh idols were immersed in the 27 artificial lakes created by the BMC across the city. Civic officials have admitted that there is no mechanism to reuse or recycle the material.
Deputy municipal commissioner Anand Wagaralkar, who looks at the Ganpati preparations in the city, said, “We are studying how the material can be reused or recycled to avoid degradation of environment. In a few cases, the idols must have been taken from the artificial pond to the sea, but no such instance has been brought to my notice.”
Vishwas Shankarwar, assistant municipal commissioner, K-West ward, said, “The PoP is not recycled in any way. It is often dumped on the municipal land in Versova. We don’t follow any other procedure.”
MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande brought the issue to the notice of the standing committee on Wednesday.
The revelation has angered citizen activists. “It seems pointless. After spending money on creating artificial lakes, why would you immerse the idols into the sea,” asked Anandini Thakoor, chairperson, H-west ward federation.
Environmentalists feel the remains of the idols could be used for construction work.
“It can be used for making pots, or filling gaps in any construction work or creating bricks. By burying PoP, too, the civic body is causing harm to the environment. They need to come up with a solution to avoid sea pollution,” said Rakesh Kumar, chief scientist, National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).