Eco Friendly Visarjan : Sakkardara lake, Shukrawari talao cordoned off from all sides

Nagpur: Nagpur will be seeing an eco-friendly Ganesh Visarjan this year, to a some extent! The two prominent lakes of Nagpur – Sakkardara Lake and Gandhi Sagar lake popularly known as Shukrawari talao has been barricaded to prevent idol immersion in these water bodies. The move has been initiated by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) which has cordoned off both Sakkardara and Gandhisagar lakes with tin sheds.

Besides NMC is also digging huge immersion pits in a vacant plot right opposite the lake.

Assistant commissioner of Nehru Nagar zone Rajesh Karade said that the number of pits have been increased to four. “We are expecting more than 20,000 immersions. For big idols of three feet, we have constructed two pits having dimensions 25 by 45 feet and depth of five feet,” said Karade. Apart from this, another two pits is being dug in the same plot for small idols.

This move would also help NMC to avoid the situation like last year when a group of miscreants had punctured the artificial tanks kept near the lake after 8pm. Because of this, NMC officials had to allow immersions in Sakkardara lake. “This time, we have set-up about 62 tanks in the zone, many of which are of plywood and pits,” Karade said.

Another obstacle in keeping lakes immersion free is a group of young slum dwellers who offer to immerse idols in the middle of the lake in exchange of Rs100-Rs200. “We have sought help from Sakkardara police to keep such groups away. Recently, cops went to the slums and also issued warning to the dwellers,” Karade said.

Like Sakkardara, Gandhisagar lake has also been barricaded by tin sheds. About 200 idols were immersed in the newly constructed artificial tank that was inaugurated on Thursday. According to NMC officials, the tank is now leakage-proof.

For now, both the lakes seem to be quite clean. At Gandhisagar, nirmalya was strewn at some parts on the edge of the lake. “Some devotees managed to throw nirmalya through the gaps in the tin sheds. NMC will need support of NGOs to monitor the area on the final day of immersions,” said residents.

Immersions at Sonegaon lake will be done in the tank located on its bank. With other lakes closed for immersions, environmentalists fear that Futala will have to bear the burden of maximum idols this time. The dissolved oxygen level of the lake has already dropped to 3.5 milligrams per litre (4mg/l), along with increase in its turbidity.