THE GANESH festival saw a 25 per cent reduction in idols immersed in the Mutha river this year, with more citizens opting for artificial tanks constructed by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) or small tanks in their residential premises.
However, the number of idols immersed across the city went up from 3,52,900 last year to 3,53,889 this year.
“The immersion of 93,696 idols was done in the river as against 1.23 lakh idols in the previous year. This is tremendous response to the public awareness created by civic administration. Citizens have responded to check water pollution,” said Joint Municipal Commissioner Suresh Jagtap.
Around 24,250 citizens used the two-kg bags of ammonium bicarbonate that the PMC was distributing for free to enable them to immerse idols at home and make the plaster of Paris used in idols to dissolve in water. “The PMC got 100 tonnes of ammonium bircarbonate for the purpose and distributed 55 tonnes to citizens. The PMC also gave two tonnes of it to Nasik police and one tonne to Shivane village close to city. The rest of it was mixed in the water tanks constructed by civic body,” Jagtap said.
The canal which mostly passes through the outskirts of the city saw an increase in idols immersed from 35,332 last year to 54,699 this year.
The PMC-constructed water tanks turned out to be the most favoured immersion places, with 1.37 idols being immersed in them this year, up from 1.13 lakh last year.
The facility of steel tank was used for immersion of 67,339 idols. The PMC also reported that civic staff appointed across the city collected 640 tonnes of biodegradable waste used for worship.
The PMC immersed the idols collected in water tanks at a quarry in Wagholi, requiring 250 trips by the collection vehicle. The conservancy staff, while cleaning the immersion route of Laxmi road and adjoining roads, collected two trucks of footwear.