Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation which was apparently confident to protect water bodies from idol immersion, clearly failed to do so. Post Ganesh Visarjan in the city all the major city lakes, barring Sonegaon and Ambazari, were fully messed up with the hazardous chemicals. NMC has mandated ban on immersion on any types of idols in water bodies, but when the D-Day came, no ban could stood the test of time.
As the ten-day Ganeshotsav concluded on Sunday, the majority of city lakes — Futala, Gandhisagar, Sakkardara, Naik and Police Line Takli woke up as high polluted on Monday.
NMC claimed that over 2.50 lakh idols including small and big were immersed of which 1.64 lakh small idols were done in artificial tanks. Last year, the comparative figure stood at 1.25 lakh. However the civic body fared better in nirmalya collection but it failed to protect the city lakes.
Taking serious cognisance of water bodies’ pollution, the NMC had framed bylaws for Regulating Sale and Disposal of Articles made of Plaster of Paris and Immersion of Idols in the Water Bodies 2013 on May 18, 2013. The state government had approved the bylaws a couple of months ago. It was binding on the NMC to ensure all lakes free from idols immersion by making proper arrangements of artificial immersion tanks.
NGOs and social organizations helped the NMC in eco-friendly Ganeshotsav.
Activist Narayan Ahuja said cement concrete permanent artificial tanks only way to ensure all lakes free from idols immersion. “Arrangements on lines of Sonegaon lake should be made for immersion of big idols installed by Ganesh Mandals at all lakes especially three or four at Futala lake. Plastic artificial tanks should be installed in residential areas for small idols,” he said.
“Response to artificial tanks was great till last date of immersion at Futala lake. A group of local boys were insisting devotees to immerse idols in lake. They were taking idols and immersing going into the lake and earned money. This came as setback especially on the last date. Around 75% of PoP idols were without mandatory norm of red mark due to which it was an uphill task for our volunteers to convince devotees. NMC should increase number of artificial tanks from next year and ensure installation on all sides of the water bodies along with volunteers,” said co-founder of Green Vigil Foundation Kaustav Chatterjee.