KSPCB says PoP Ganesha idols are 10% lesser this year

KSPCB says PoP Ganesha idols are 10% lesser this year

BBMP workers clear the immersed idols from Yediyur tank on Friday. DH photo

This Ganesha festive season has seen 10% less use of Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has said.

Reducing the pollutant idols is winning just half the battle, while the real challenge is to handle the immersion of the community Ganesha idols to begin from Saturday, KSPCB officials said.

"This year is better than the previous years. The news so far is that 80% of the idols immersed are clay," KSPCB chairman Lakshman told DH. "The waterbodies seem less polluted. Also, there's a drop in the number of idols immersed in kalyanis since most have done the immersion at home."

The community idol immersions that begin from Saturday needs closer monitoring, he added.

According to initial reports from the KSPCB, around 30,000 idols were immersed in the Halasuru Lake kalyani, 52,000 in Yediyur Lake and 30,000 in the Sankey tank kalyanis.

Board officials attribute the reduction in the number of immersions this year to multiple factors like traffic rush and the small size of the idols that prompted people to sink them in buckets at home, besides a widespread presence of mobile immersion tanks.

They also said clay idols were cheaper than the PoP ones, were widely available and distributed freely, all of which resulted in the drop of PoP idol usage.

"The water looks less polluted due to the reduction in immersions, though the exact pollution levels will be known only after the analysis reports are out," Lakshman said. "We have collected samples for the first day. The worry is the paint used on the idols."

KSPCB is also closely coordinating with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to keep a vigil on large idol immersions. Officials are also discussing ways to stop the immersion of PoP idols in the lakes.



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