BENGALURU: “Our men are working 24 hours a day to clean the water tanks and dispose the idols,” said K T Yatish Kumar, Joint Commissioner for Health, BBMP, speaking about the water pollution and garbage issue caused by the Ganesha festival in the city.
The BBMP had built artificial tanks for the public to immerse Ganesha idols, but still the lakes have not been spared. Plaster of Paris (POP) and chemicals in the idols are polluting the lakes.
Mahesh, an official from Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) said that the idols, along with flowers, were being disposed in the lakes. “The paint of the idols will not dissolve, making the water poisonous,” he said.
The BBMP has formed a separate team of workers, specially employed to clean the lakes during the festival. They pick the idols and dispose them away from the city.
Hucche Gowda, an employee in BBMP said, “Pourakarmikas of BBMP have also joined this team of workers.”
Speaking to The Beacon, Mr Kumar said that the immersion of Ganesha idols was stopped in the artificial tanks temporarily. The workers had cleaned the tanks and filled them with fresh water. He also said that there were many extra workers working for 24 hours from the day of the festival. “The debris of all the disposed idols is taken to a dumping yard near Anjanapura,” he added.
It is seen that the idols made of POP have increased in number this year. When immersed in water, the idols become heavier making it difficult for the workers to take them out.
Manganese and lead used in the POP to make the idols have made the lake beds slippery, forcing the workers to get into the lake barefoot. This has resulted in infections and allergies to them. Unlike other years, this year special care and plan was made prior to the festival handle this situation.