Nagpur: This Ganesh festival, Nagpur shows more of its eco-friendly side as most of the citizens are preferring immersion of their deity’s idols in artificial tanks, for the betterment of water bodies. This was evident from the response the NMC’s efforts are getting. In order to protect the city’s Futala Lake from the pollution being caused by Ganpati idol immersion and nirmalaya dumping, the NMC has set up eight artificial tanks at Air Force station end of Futala Lake also engaged two NGOs Green Vigil Foundation and Rotary Club to achieve the purpose.
However, volunteers of Rotary club were absent from sight. Volunteers of Green Vigil Foundation are guarding the Air Force station end of Futala Lake from the very first day of visarjan. The volunteers have been encouraging citizens for immersion of POP idols in artificial tanks and also collecting nirmalyas.
Surbhi Jaiswal, team leader of Green Vigil Foundation explained, eight years back devotees were not even ready to handover nirmalya but now, they not only do so but are also willing to immerse even clay idols in artificial tanks. The whole perception about idol immersion is changing, which is a very positive sign, she added.
As per the figures compiled by Green Vigil Foundation, out of 1436 total idols immersed by the 7th day, 1413 were immersed in artificial tanks.
Founder of Green Vigil Foundation, Kaustav Chatterjee lamented, “We are winning the fight however losing the battle. Being appointed on Air Force station side, we have managed to convince people for artificial immersion, but with no assistance from Amravati end and Futala chopati, aquatic life could face serious consequences.”
On immersion of POP idols, he explained, “This year there is hardly any red mark on POP idols, which makes it very difficult for the devotees to differentiate between clay and POP idols. Many of them have purchased POP idols, which were sold to them in the name of clay idols.”
While explaining the adverse effect of POP idols, he mentioned POP idols are not biodegradable, thus does not get dissolved and remain in water body for longer period and the paint used contains heavy metals like cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury etc which is injurious to health of aquatic species. Toxic paints used in making the idols from a thin layer on the surface of water restricting oxygen diffusion, resulting in diminished concentration of dissolved oxygen in water.
– Shubham Nagdeve