With the 5th day of Ganesha Chaturthi (2nd September) past us, the festival in Bangalore has more-or-less ended for the year. Government departments and citizen groups that are closely associated with lakes must be reviewing the impact of the festival on the water bodies.
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In recent years, the BBMP, NGOs and other local groups have been putting in a lot of effort before the festival, educating people about the use eco-friendly idols, paints and decorations, and encouraging them to do home immersions so that water bodies are not burdened. Most of the lake groups are well prepared for the festival, planning for it days in advance.
At Kaikondrahalli Lake, a separate kalyani was readied with water for the immersion, and idols were not permitted in the main lake. The first couple of days of the festival saw about 1100 immersions, including large idols, and the security guards were able to stop miscreants who wanted to immerse their idols in the main lake.
At Devarabisanahalli Lake, a special effort was made to provide sorting bins for the different accessories that accompany the Ganesha idols. Small drums were provided for immersion. While the small idols went into the drums, the large idols, mostly of PoP (Plaster of Paris) were immersed in the lake with festive fervour. Pallavi Singh, one of the ‘guardians’ of the lake said, “While the crowd cheered, we watched on so helplessly. Sadly, we could not save the lake completely from chemical colors.”
Sorting bins at Devarabisanahalli Lake
A clay Ganesha being immersed in a drum. It dissolves in no time!