Like the Deshpandes, around 6,000 other families in the city have immersed their idols at home as they feel using the makeshift tanks created by the civic body would also be a waste of water.
The Pune Municipal Corporation has provided 2kg of ammonium bicarbonate to these families, to easily dissolve idols made of Plaster of Paris.
“All PMC ward offices are providing the chemical to citizens, and in the first five days alone, about 40 tonnes of ammonium bicarbonate has been used to immerse and dissolve idols at homes. The number will rise as the figures are still coming in,“ PMC’s solid waste management head Suresh Jagtap told TOI. The PMC is implementing this plan with the help of National Chemical Lab in Pune.
PMC authorities said that PMC authorities said that the number of citizens immersing idols in the makeshift water tanks set up by the civic body is also multiplying as citizens are responding to the appeal that idols must not be immersed in rivers.
Some residents like Shweta have gone a step further.The home-maker bought sha du (clay), prepared an eco-friendly idol and dissolved it in a bucket of water. Next year, she would reuse this clay to prepare another idol.
State executive president of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) Avinash Patil said that the movement, started about two decades ago, is finally gaining acceptance.
Patil said that before every Ganeshotsav for twenty years, MANS founder Narendra Dabholkar and other activists would be all set to campaign for eco-friendly celebrations. In 2013, the day Dabholkar was shot dead, he was scheduled to announce a slew of measures and begin campaigning for the year’s festivities.
Activist Uday Kulkarni said, “Religious organisations must come forward to ensure eco-friendly celebra tions. When the movement against immersion of idols was started in 1980s, Karveer Peetha Shankaracharya came out in support. Considering the condition of our rivers and water bodies, we need to make all festivals environment friendly.“
Source : TOI