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| Last Updated:27/11/2018

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Grim pollution pic surfaces as Ganesha idols sink in Gomti

Amid the chanting of mantras, Lord Ganesha went under the Gomti waters on Sunday. That marked the culmination of 10-day festivity of Ganesh Chaturthi.

But as hundreds of Ganesha idols sank into the river a grim picture surfaced. That of a more polluted Gomti, choked with flowers and variety of puja material.

 

Over the last 10 days, more than 15,000 idols of Ganesha, big and small, were immersed in the Gomti. With the river already ailing, the idols added to the environmental pollution.

 

According to Lucknow Municipal Corporation, the maximum burden on the river is put by Plaster of Paris (POP) and paints used in the idols as they take years to decompose. Plastic and flowers, too, harm the river.

 

Environment engineer at LMC, Pankaj Bhushan, said, “POP is not made of natural substances. Instead it is calcium sulphate hemihydrate and so it takes five to six years for an idol made of PoP to completely dissolve in water.”

 

He added, “The flowers thrown into the river by devotees lower the oxygen level of water and cause severe damage to water bodies. The artificial paints which get dissolved in water are very harmful for drinking even after filtration.” To add to the problem, the idols are decorated with paints heavy in lead and mercury, which, once immersed add to the ongoing process of destroying the flora and fauna of the water body, while also depleting the oxygen level in the river.

 

Devendra Maurya, a devotee at Jhulelal Vatika, said. ‘’There is so much trash here that no one cannot even walk properly. The wrappers and polythene are spread all over the ghat. There are dustbins but no one is bothered to use them.’’ Environmentalist Venkatesh Dutta, said, “About 6kg PoP is used for making a 4-foot high idol. In addition, 8 litres artificial paint and thermocol are used for making the ornaments for one idol, while about 3kg metal is used for the idol’s base structure.” He added, “POP takes years to dissolve affecting the water quality. Paint, even after filtration, leaves behind particles which make the water unfit for drinking. Aquatic life cannot differentiate between thermocol beads and aquatic plants and die after feeding on them.”

 

 

Source: TOI