Encouraged by the success of the eco-friendly immersions last year, the civic body has increased the number of artificial ponds from 17 to 19 this year.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Kishore Kshirsagar, in-charge of organising the 10-day festival, has issued a circular to all ward offices saying that in order to attract more people, the ponds should be decorated with flower arrangements, rangolis and bright lights.
“The idea is to make the immersions look as grand as those done in the sea. It will also create awareness amongst the locals,” said Kshirsagar.
He also added that a platform to conduct the pooja before the visarjan, aartis being sung in the background will add to the appeal.
Last year, 8,383 Ganesh idols were immersed in 17 artificial ponds across the city, of which 175 were Sarvajanik (public) and 8,208 were household idols.
In 2008, 25 such artificial ponds were created.
However, due to the lack of response, only 17 ponds were made last year.
The idea of artificial ponds for immersions was derived by the BMC from the Thane Municipal Corporation, which started the practice four years ago.
This year it was also decided that places that saw less than 100 immersions last time will not have ponds.
“There are a few wards where there were no immersions last year. For example, the B ward witnessed only immersion last year.
“So we thought it was not feasible to have a pond in that ward,” said an officer.
The spots at the mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park, Byculla Zoo, Swapna Nagari in Mulund get a lot of response.
The cost of building these ponds varies from Rs 3 –15 lakh, depending on its size.
The one that is built at the mayor’s bungalow costs Rs 15 lakh. Several housing societies will also be have eco-friendly immersions this year.
Triratna Prerana Mandal (TPM), a community-based organization, in Santacruz, will also set up an artificial pond.