Hyderabad: With the Telangana High Court rejecting the plea of the state government to permit immersion of Ganesha idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) in Hussain Sagar and other lakes, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been caught in a dilemma over big idols including Khairatabad Ganesha, apart from 30,000 other idols which were conventionally immersed in the iconic Hussain Sagar.
The authorities first explored the possibilities of immersing the Khairatabad idol in Kukatpally IDL lake considering its size, but later the officials felt that it could not only violate the High Court directions but also Hyderabad metro corridor would turn a major hindrance in the procession route. However, the civic body has been actively considering the option to immerse the Khairatabad idol in a baby pond constructed near Sanjeevaiah Park.
According to GHMC officials, instructions were given to the police to issue tokens to pandals stating the time, date and location of baby ponds for hassle-free immersion. The official machinery has geared up for the eleventh day of immersion where about over 30,000 idols would be immersed in about 25 baby ponds which are spread across the GHMC limits. Devotees can still immerse clay idols in the city water bodies including Hussainsagar. Only PoP idols would be advised to immerse in the designated baby ponds adhering to the directions given by the High Court. About 14 cranes have been set up on the Tank Bund and four cranes at People's Plaza would cater to the needs of clay idols, which would be removed within 48 hours.
A senior GHMC official, requesting anonymity, said PoP idols up to 14 feet can be immersed in 24 baby ponds - Pathi Kunta, Mir Alam Tank, Lingam Cheruvu, Boin Cheruvu, Mundla Katwa, Nagole Cheruvu, Kotha Cheruvu, Banda Cheruvu, Mothukula Cheruvu, Nalla Cheruvu, Large Tank, Patan (Saki) Cheruvu, Raisamudram, Kaidamma Kunta, Gurunath Cheruvu, Gopi Cheruvu, Durgam Cheruvu, Hussain Sagar (Jala Vihar) and Ambedkar Nagar. He said that the civic body would maintain required depth in baby ponds.
The official said that prior to revised High Court orders, the corporation had planned to immerse all big idols in Kukatpally IDL lake but considering the hindrance in the metro corridors, the authorities finally dropped the idea by Monday afternoon. He said if bigger idols were carried to the Kukatpally IDL lake, most of them would have to be cut at various metro stations including Erragadda.
"This could not only be a major problem but also attract the contempt of court and the idea was finally dropped. Considering the setbacks, instructions were given to the police to issue tokens to pandal organisers with the time, date and location of the nearby baby pond. We are actively considering immersing the Khairatabad Ganesha idol at a mega baby pond of 60 feet width and 20 feet depth at Sanjeevaiah Park. The corporation would maintain full tank level at the baby pond near Sanjeevaiah Park on the banks of Hussainsagar and which is the only option left with the GHMC," he added. The official said that the corporation had been already clearing four lorry loads of debris from each baby pond and would deploy more staff and vehicles in the coming days to ensure hassle-free immersion at all baby ponds.