Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The immersion of Ganesha idols continued for the second day at notified ghats in the city on Saturday. However, the puja waste floated, which exposed the tall claim of Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) to keep the city clean.
The BMC teams have to remove all puja waste from water bodies as these materials pollute water. Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board has formulated guidelines on idol immersion in water bodies.
MP Pollution Control Board senior officer Brijesh Sharma said, “Board conducts tests during and post immersion. It is the duty of BMC to remove puja waste immediately after immersion.”
Idols are made with plaster of paris, clay, cloths, bamboo and decorated with different paints, varnish, water colours, which can alter the water quality after immersion.
Paints which are used to colour idols contain heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, zinc, chromium and lead. Particularly, red, blue, orange and green colours contain mercury, zinc oxide, chromium and lead, which are potent carcinogens. Heavy metals such as lead and chromium get added in water bodies through sindoor.
The floating material released from idols in the water bodies, after decomposition, results in eutrophication, increase in acidity and heavy metal concentration. Heavy metal pollution caused by idol immersion can damage ecosystems as it kills fishes, damages plants, blocks the natural flow of the water, causing stagnation.