When people left Ganesh in the lurch

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sankey tank

Bangalore, September 11:  The low-hanging tree branches were covered with flower garlands of varied hues and sizes. Puja materials, including the sacred thread, colourful paper umbrellas and paper garlands were left on the ground. Also, hundreds of Ganesh and Gowri idols were abandoned on the pavement amidst uncleared garbage on both sides of the gate leading to the immersion pond in Sankey Tank.

A day after the city celebrated Ganesh and Gowri festivals with pomp, devotees who splurged on the fete did not seem have the patience to immerse the idols in the kalyani (immersion tank), and hence left them on the pavement.

“They worship idols only to abandon them so? This shows that they lack civic sense and hold pujas only for namesake,” said a resident, upset after seeing the dump outside his home.

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Joggers and pourakarmikas were also in for a surprise on Tuesday morning when they found the abandoned idols. Along with clearing garbage, the pourakarmikas had to remove the idols.

While there were no abandoned idols in Ulsoor Lake, huge mounds of garbage lay outside on both sides of the gate. The volunteers at the lake claimed that idols were immersed till 4 a.m. on Tuesday. They said at least 40,000 idols were immersed in the lake on Monday.

“After it started raining, people left the idols near the immersion tank. The volunteers had to immerse all these idols,” said Nanjappa, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) Assistant Executive Engineer (Shivajinagar).

Meanwhile, the number of eco-friendly idols seems to have seen a slight increase. The BBMP and personnel from the Karnataka Civil Defence Corps are collecting data on the idols at each of the 10 lakes where immersion is permitted in the city.

According to P.R.S. Chetan, Chief Warden of Civil Defence, the 200-odd Civil Defence personnel have been instructed to ensure that no puja material was dumped inside the tanks, besides collect data on the kind of idols (clay, plaster of Paris or coloured) and the size.

Waste management expert N.S. Ramakanth said the data would be collected for the next 10 days and collated later. He, however, maintained that the number of idols being immersed in tanks had increased compared to last year.

“On the first day, the number of idols immersed was at least 25 per cent more than that of last year. More idols are expected on Wednesday, as the numbers swell on the third day after the festival,” he added.

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