The muck in the lake

The muck in the lake

While the idol immersion brings an end to the Ganesha celebrations, the polluted lakes and clogged immersion tanks lend it an anti-climax. There were not less than 10,000 immersions in the City over the weekend.

But the wooden frames of idols floating in the water bodies stand testimony to the ecological damage. These frames rot in the lakes for days together before they are cleared. Adding to the muck are flower garlands and plastic decoratives that come with the idols  

The BBMP had marked out 35 lakes and more than 100 mobile tanks this year.

The bamboo decoratives that lie uncollected beside the lake are picked up by rag pickers or people who resell them or use them for firewood.

 Savitha Kumari, a rag picker, says, “My husband and I wait for this festival to come. We hire a cart and move around the City just to collect and sell the bamboo decoratives. We get Rs 4,000 for each load in KR Market.”

People think the government is not doing enough to ensure the debris is cleared on time. Ashok Kumar, a banker observes, “The contamination left behind during these immersions will remain in the lakes. The authorities must find an alternative place for immersions.” Rakesh Bandhari, a businessman who lives in an apartment just opposite Ulsoor Lake, feels that immersions are not only mismanaged in and around the lakes but also on the roads leading to these lakes.

 “There’s a lot of debris all along the road. People throw garlands and other paper materials along the road, leading to the immersion tank. The traffic is also thrown out of gear during the immersions with jams all over the place,” he states. 

Many Bangaloreans say that they find immersions at lakes a messy affair and prefer to immerse the idols in the confines of their home.

 Rakshitha, a home-maker says, “There’s a lot of dirt in and around the lakes so one doesn’t feel like going there. I hope the mess in the lakes are cleared on time. The
remains also leave behind a lot of stench.”     

BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana confirms that there have been 8,000 to 10,000 immersions in the last two days.

“The number of immersions have reduced this year thanks to the mobile immersion vans that have elicited a good response,” he says.

When asked why BBMP hasn’t cleared the debris from the lakes, he says there are two cranes stationed near the lakes where immersions are taking place.

“These cranes remove the idols and don’t allow them to float in the lakes. The flowers and other decorations are removed from the idol before it is sunk into the water. But bamboo decoratives are not sent to the landfill because they are reusable and there are people who come and pick it up. The rest of the debris is sent to the landfill,” he states.

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