Immersing Ganesha, resurrecting the rivers: Pune’s ecofriendly ‘bappa moryas’ lead the way
PMC has provided immersion facilities at 255 locations in the city with 163 artificial tanks for the convenience of devotees. An estimated five lakh idols are expected to be immersed by end of festivalpune Updated: Sep 01, 2017 14:28 IST
Pune A large number of Punekars took to immersing their beloved Ganesh idols in artificial tanks put up by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), rather than add to the pollution of the rivers passing through the city.
With cries of “Ganpati Bappa Mor Ya, Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya”, thousands of citizens stepped out of their homes with Ganesh idols, especially in the second half of the day, and headed to the nearest immersion point on Thursday, the seventh day of the festival.
At the Baba Bhide bridge in the Deccan Gymkhana area, PMC staffer Rahul Salunke was monitoring the number of idols being immersed in one of the artificial tanks. Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said, “Since the past two years, the percentage of Ganesh idols being immersed in artificial tanks has been going up considerably. During the major visarjan (immersion) days of the festival, on an average, 1,000 Ganesh idols are immersed in each of the artificial tanks, as against 250 to 300 immersed in the river.” At the tank that he was monitoring, around 400 Ganesh idols were immersed till 8pm, and 160 were immersed in the river.
The PMC has provided immersion facilities at 255 locations in the city with 163 artificial tanks for the convenience of devotees. An estimated five lakh idols are expected to be immersed by the end of the festival.
Tanmay Joshi, who along with his family had come to immerse the Ganesh idol, said, “Since the past many years I have been observing the pollution that is caused after Ganesh idols and the nirmalya (flower offerings) are immersed in the river. Hence, we prefer to immerse the idols in the artificial tank to do our bit to prevent the river from getting polluted.”
Another resident of the area, Janhvi Bapat too shared similar views and said, “I strongly believe in conserving the environment and natural resources. While celebrating Ganesh festival too, I follow the same thought process and ensure that right from the material used for making the idol to the immersion, all is done in an eco-friendly manner. I also suggested to my friends and family to immerse their Ganesh idols in the tanks put up by the PMC and not in the river.”
Madhavi Kolte, a working professional who volunteered with a city NGO to assist in protecting the river said that the largescale pollution of the rivers during the Ganesh Festival had bothered her for many years. “At present I am associated with the NGO Jeevitnadi and have found the required support to urge people against polluting the river.”
At various immersion points in the city, a large number of people working with SWaCH (Solid Waste Collection and Handling) were seen collecting nirmalya from the devotees. They said that since the past few years, awareness amongst the devotees has been growing considerably and most people were now preferring to hand over the nirmalya to SWaCH workers and volunteers. This has been helping reduce the amount of nirmalya being released in the rivers which is good for the city, one volunteer said.