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NGOs pitch in for management of waste during Ganesh idol immersion
Pranita Roy | Saturday, 10 September 2016 AT 11:51 PM IST
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PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has joined hands with NGOs like Solid Waste Collection and Handling (SWACH) and Rotary Clubs for proper disposal of waste generated from Ganesh idol immersion at various ghats.

According to the civic body, several artificial tanks have been set up at 132 ghats and other locations for the immersion of Ganesh idols. The devotees are expected to immerse idols in these tanks instead of polluting the rivers.

The PMC has installed machines and other equipment at each ghat to maintain cleanliness around the area.

According to Suchismita Pai of SWACH, there are three ways in which waste is managed - food offerings like the prasad (coconuts and pedhas) are given to waste pickers to eat or distribute to their relatives; decoration materials collected before immersion are composted immediately; while waste which can be recycled like ornaments and plastics, is recycled.

The Health Department has undertaken the task of spraying of insecticides near the rivers to stop the breeding of mosquitoes in those areas.

“So far, 50 tonnes of waste has been collected from idol immersion spots, which is almost equal to previous year’s figures. We have taken precautionary measures to prevent idol immersion in the river. We also have various organisation volunteering for the cause,” Joint Commissioner of Solid Waste Management of the PMC, Suresh Jagatap told Sakal Times.

SWACH has been associated with the PMC for the ‘Nirmalaya Project’ for nine years and have diverted over huge quantities of Nirmalaya or floral offerings given to Ganesh idols over the years.

Pai said that their NGO has adopted 23 ghats in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad where immersions take place.

“Our team has 250 waste pickers along with 100 staff members from SWACH, who will be present at these ghats to collect all offering in a container on Saturday and September 15,” she added, stating that from this year, for the first time, the NGO has started online registrations of volunteers and over 200 volunteers have registered with it. “There will be a few who may join us directly at the locations,” she said.

Pai said that according to last year’s statistics, SWACH had collected 120 tonnes of Nirmalaya. 
 
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