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Pune’s bid to minimise pollution during Ganesh festival: More steel tanks for idol immersion, floral waste containers and recycling

To check on water pollution during the Ganesh festival, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to increase facilities for the immersion of idols and disposal of floral waste during the ten-day celebrations beginning September 19.

“The PMC provides facilities for immersion of Ganesh idols and depositing the floral waste at various places, including riverbanks, artificial concrete tanks, steel tanks, lakes, wells, canals and idol donation centres. We have decided to increase the facilities to check water pollution,” said Asha Raut, incharge of the civic body’s solid waste management department.

Last year, the PMC put up 359 steel tanks across the city for citizens to immerse Ganesh idols instead of doing it in water bodies. This year, the number of steel tanks will be increased to 568, said officials.

The civic body also urged citizens to donate the idols to be appropriately handled and recycled instead of polluting waters. It said the number of idol collection centres has been increased from 216 to 252. Similarly, the PMC has decided to increase floral waste collection containers from 206 to 256. Waste pickers segregate the waste and flowers are sent to small units preparing scented agarbattis.

The civic body will set up the highest number of steel tanks for Ganesh idol immersion at the Dhankawadi-Sahakarnagar ward office to discourage people from immersing the idols in the canal at Swargate or Katraj lake.

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Warje-Karvenagar and Kothrud-Bavdhan are two other areas to be equipped with many steel tanks, intended to avoid the pollution of the Mutha river and the Pashan lake.

The highest number of floral waste collection centres will be in the ward office area of Hadapsar Mundhwa and Sinhagad Road. The civic body will distribute sodium bicarbonate to citizens free of cost to immerse Ganesh idols made of plaster of Paris (PoP) in their houses as the chemical dissolves them in a few days.

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The PMC, meanwhile, has discontinued mobile water tank facilities after complaints of local politicians misusing them for publicity.

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