This Ganeshotsav, only 2% Mumbaiites opted for eco-friendly idols
BMC data reveals the number last year was 6%
The buzz surrounding the use of eco-friendly Ganesha idols seems to have fizzled out this year. As per data available with the civic body, the number of eco-friendly idols this year fell to 2% against last year’s 6%
Of the 1,85,472 idols immersed during Ganeshotsav, the civic body identified 3,710 idols that were eco-friendly. Last year, 12,576 eco-friendly idols were recorded across Mumbai from the 2,09,602 idols immersed during the 11-day festival.
Officials from the solid waste management (SWM) department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) called for more awareness. They said idol made of Plaster-of-Paris (PoP) were easily available against those made of of shadu clay.
“The trend this year has been opposite to what we saw last year. Most idols cleared of the beaches were of POP,” said Vijay Balamvar, deputy municipal commissioner, SWM. “The impact of the festival can bee seen at our dumping grounds.”
Anand Waghralkar, deputy municipal commissioner, BMC, said, “We can only request people to opt for eco-friendly idols. We had extensively promoted the need to use natural, papier mache and shadu clay idols before the festival. However, we did not get a positive response from the. There is need for greater awareness.”
Members of the Brihanmumbai Samanvay Ganeshotsav Sarvajanik Samiti (BSGSS), the umbrella body of Ganesh mandals, confirmed the figures and said making clay idols is a time consuming and an expensive process.
“We had appealed to the state environment department to completely ban the use of PoP — like it has been done in Goa. Even a bill was floated for the same, but it is yet to tabled,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, president, BSGSS. “The other issue is acquiring clay, which mostly comes from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Transportation make its expensive to acquire.”
He added the state environment department, along with Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), needs to carry out an extensive campaign to ensure the of PoP reduces in Mumbai.