Hyderabad: The state government needs to draw up concrete plans and put them into practice rather than follow strategies adopted more than a decade ago for Ganesh nimajjanam processions. The reason behind this is simple mathematics.
In 2001, the number of Ganesh idols in the city were around 12,000. Come 2015, the number has spiked to one lakh. While the idols have increased, the main immersion point for nearly 80 per cent of them remains the same — the Hussainsagar Lake.
As per the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi, this year around 80,000 idols were immersed in Hussainsagar, of which about 55,000 were 10 feet or more.
The only noticeable difference was that instead of about 25 cranes at Hussainsagar, this year around 60 cranes were pressed into service.
As per the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti, around 35 per cent of idols come to Hussainsagar for immersion on the 11th day. Going by that figure, in 2011 around 4,200 Ganesh idols came to Hussainsagar on the 11th day for immersion whereas in 2015, the figure was a massive 28,000.
Keeping in mind the number of cranes utilised at Hussainsagar in 2001 and 2015 for immersion, one can calculate that each crane had about 168 idols to immerse on the 11th day.
Whereas, in 2015 each crane had the job of immersing 466 idols on the 11th day. Given the fact on the 12th day too, immersion continued late into the night this year, the numbers can only increase next year.
As of now, all that the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi has to say is that the nimajjanam got delayed not because of increase in the number of Ganesh idols but because many pandals started their journey late. About next year, they said that they would meet the other samithis too and have discussions with the government.
Anant Maringanti, executive director of Hyderabad Urban Labs said, “Time is ripe for the government to take definitive action if the traffic and ecological woes relating to nimajjanam have to be solved. For solving the ecological issue of pollution due to idols, rather than just talking of adopting clay Ganeshas, the government should take an incentive-based approach for promoting ecological awareness. For example, it can start an initiative that whichever samithi conducts lake conservation activities for maximum hours will get to immerse their Ganesh first in Hussainsagar. They can start rewards for whoever resorts to clay Ganeshas and maybe create a special immersion point for them. The government also should work on developing the bond between people and the lake. No one consciously wants to destroy the Hussainsagar. The 10 days of Ganesh festivities, rather then becoming a cause of ecological concern, can be made a platform for promoting awareness.”