Ganesh Chaturthi is the occasion to rejoice and get drenched in the charm of Lord Ganesha. But, people are unaware of the harm they do to environment by immersing idols in waterbodies, which rises pollution and contamination.
The government agencies claim to have their task cut-out before and after idols are immersed in water, but they do nothing to curb pollution on excuse of it being a religious matter.
Apart from garbage, rotting flowers and heaps of plastic waste, Lord Ganesha’s idols, inappropriately shaped out of harmful chemicals, will add unnecessary burden to depleting waterbodies of the state.
The agencies expect over 75, 000 Ganesha idols will be immersed in the lakes of Rajasthan. The hotspots for immersion are Amber Maotha (Jaipur), Pushkar Lake (Ajmer), Gulab Sagar Lake (Jodhpur), Fateh Sagar Lake, Rangsagar Lake, Pichola Lake, Swaroopsagar Lake, Dudh Talai Lake, Udaisagar Lake (All in Udaipur).
Plaster of Paris (PoP), the idols are made up of, is exothermic in nature when dissolved in water. It can burn skin and lead to eye infections and even blindness. Oil paint used in beautification is toxic for aquatic animals, plants and humans alike. Chemical agents present in varnish and distempers used to paint idols lead to high contamination. Iron wires used as support in large and small idols, affect water’s natural form.
Sadly, all these don’t move the authorities. Rajasthan Pollution Control Board, meant to better the situation in state, is in doldrums.
Shockingly, in 2012, the board carried out surveys — pre and post immersion — and found significant rise in pollution, but failed to act this year, despite being aware of evil effects.
When contacted, RK Gaur, senior scientific officer, RPCB, said the boards is ready for the survey. “We would conduct the survey like last year. We are about to issue guidelines in this aspect,” he said.
Asked what the outcome of 2012 survey was and what they were doing to save water bodies and making artisans aware, he said, “We can only act once the reports are out.”