Hyderabad: The last six days of Ganesh Chathurthi have seen over 4,000 idols being immersed in Hussainsagar, the largest lake in city. The figure is limited to the geo tagged idols and does not include countless smaller idols immersed in the lake.
The data by the Pollution Control Board showed that pollution level has increased in terms of the PH and salt and the oxygen level also has turned low. “The situation is under control due to the heavy rains which helped erase the pollution from the lake and improved the oxygen level. If these idols are not removed immediately, the oxygen level will plummet again,” said Mr Chinnappa Reddy, scientific officer, Pollution Control Board. Furthermore, pooja materials, plastics, flowers, food items also added their share to the pollution.
The situation is no different in other lakes in the city. They are facing a similar choked situation with tonnes of waste. The Neknampur Lake, which was found to have filamentous bacteria in a recent PCB testing, was used extensively for immersion. “The work we had done over the year was washed away with the festive season. Despite so much awareness, people continue to use PoP idols which are adding pressure on the lake,” said Ms Madhulike Chaudhary, a volunteer to protect the Neknampur Lake.
Experts warned that the pollution level would increase in the coming days as the PoP idols, which are not retrieved by the sanitation wing, would choke the oxygen level in the lakes. The heavy metal pollution from oil based paints will add insult to the injury. “It is a cultural misuse of lakes. The PCB’s tests do not reveal the heavy metal pollution. They claim it is too minimal and untraceable but it has a strong impact on the fish and ecological health of the lake,” said Professor Subba Rao, a lake expert.