CATEGORIES

NEWSLETER


 

Immersion of Ganesha idols in the Kalyani of Sankey Tank

Immersion of Ganesha idols in the Kalyani of Sankey Tank

Manjunath P* , Pramod Subbarao$, Harish Bhat#

*Email: manjunathbhounsley1972@yahoo.com
$
Email: pragsrao@hotmail.com

# Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Malleshwaram, Bangalore – 12,
Email: harish@ces.iisc.ernet.in

Methodology followed:

Visual counting of the idols arriving for immersion.

Samples taken at:

Entrance of the tank.

Idols categorised into:

  • Large (4 feet and above)
  • Medium (Between 2 and 4 feet)
  • Small (Less than 2 feet)

Sampling Date and Time:

02nd September 2003 (3rd day of the festival), 7.00 pm – 7.30 pm (30 mins)

Sankey Tank being in the heart of city attracts lot of visitors with diverse interests. It has been rejuvenated and maintained well by the BCC since 4 years with no sewage infiltration. The inflow to this tank is largely through Jewel Filter, supplemented by rainwater.

During the Ganesha festival, the tanks in Bangalore are subjected to various kinds of pollution such as, dumping of flowers, decoration materials, worshipping materials, other materials and the Ganesha idol itself, made of clay, Plaster-of-Paris with hazardous chemical paints.

Last year, BCC with the inputs from LDA and other departments had taken appreciable step to construct a ‘Kalyani’ at the Sankey Tank, to facilitate the easy immersion of Ganesha idols from the devotees of the vicinity. In addition, this Kalyani was mooted to minimise the pollution in the main tank.

With the strict regulation by the police and announcements through public address system at the tank’s vicinity, the devotees removed the flowers and other materials from the Ganesha idols, before immersing the idols in the Kalyani. This, beyond doubt has reduced the pollution visibly in the main tank.

Usually, the idols are worshipped and immersed in large numbers on the first day, and a gradual decrease in immersion numbers on 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th day and so on.

We sampled the data for half–hour on the 3rd day of the festival. Our observation reveals that:

Small sized idols:                      400

Medium sized idols:                  320

Large sized idols:                      160

Total (Sampled idols in half hour):          880

By extrapolating the data to four hours (6pm-10pm) of immersion in a day, we see that:

Day

Small idols

Medium idols

Large idols

Total # of idols immersed in a day

1

6,400

5,120

2,560

14,080

3

3,200

2,560

1,280

7,040

5

1,600

1,280

640

3,520

7

800

640

320

1,760

9

400

320

160

880

11

200

160

80

440

Total number of idols immersed in a season:

27,720

Assumptions:

  1. The immersion traffic is constant for four hours every day.
  2. The immersion traffic is 50% reduced for the next immersion day from the previous immersion day.
  3. The immersion occurs only between the evening hours of 6pm and 10pm.
  4. The immersion occurs only on the odd days.
  5. The immersion does not occur beyond the 11th day.

No of Idols immersed in the Kalyani

Measurements of Key Parameters

BEFORE FESTIVAL (08/09/2004

AFTER FESTIVAL (12/09/2004)

AFTER FESTIVAL (22/09/2004)

PARAMETERS

TANK

KALYANI

TANK

KALYANI-1

KALYANI-2

TANK

KALYANI-1

KALYANI-2

pH

7.9

8.2

8.2

7.6

7.5

7.8

6.84

6.54

Total Dissolved Solids

178.6

173

178.2

202.4

203

168.2

521.2

501.3

Electrical conductivity

352

349.3

354.9

401.2

405.5

337.6

1042

1000

Alkalinity

115.2

124.8

144

201.6

192

128.6

624

576

Chlorides

49.98

49.98

39.98

53.98

53.98

48.98

163.94

171.94

Total Hardness

76

116

92

116

192

83

540

524

Turbidity

<10

<10

<10

50-100

50-100

<10

>100

>100

Chromium

BDL

BDL

BDL

0.62

0.92

BDL

2.36

1.3

All parameters are in milligram/ liter except pH, electrical conductivity (µs) and turbidity (NTU).
BDL = Below Detectable Level.

Suggestions:

  1. Awareness campaign through print and visual media to

–          Buy the idols of smaller size and with less flashy paints.
–          Encourage the purchase of clay idols without paint.
–          Buy the idols painted with natural dyes (provide the location of such Ganeshas sold in Bangalore)
–          Create awareness to use the idols made from paper pulp.
–          Immerse the idols at their respective houses in buckets, wells etc.
–          Reuse the larger idols for future years, which could minimise the water pollution, scarcity of water to immerse and the costs of the idol.

  1. Bring about awareness to the general public about ‘Symbolic Immersion‘, wherein a large Ganesha idol is saved for subsequent use, a small idol, symbolising the large idol is immersed.
  2. Telecast in Doordarshan and other channels, broadcast in AIR and other radio channels bi-lingually about the awareness and request to maintain and protect the tank by showing the damage to the water body, fish population, water quality.
  3. Water samples from the Kalyani and the main tank is to be collected before the start and the end of the immersion season. Subjecting such samples to analysis (pH, Turbidity, Alkalinity, Chloride, Total Solids, BOD, COD) the pollution levels in the Kalyani and the main tank can be determined. We also can analyse if there is any seepage of heavy metals (Ni, Cr, Mn, Pb) into the main tank from Kalyani.
  4. Clean the Kalyani from the immersed Ganeshas in the wee-hours thus making space for new immersions the next day. Also, the silt removed should be dumped in far-away landfills without exposing the remains. If the remains are seen, this may stir the public sentiments and become a huge snowball.
  5. Systematic sampling in the lakes of high immersion traffic is to be carried out.
  6. Construct such ‘Kalyanis’ at the other tanks of Bangalore where the idols are immersed.
  7. Publish the information about the water quality analysis in print and visual media to create awareness.
  8. Based on the findings, necessary action to be taken (Polluter Pays Principle).
  9. Every immersion party to be issued a colour coded ticket based on the
  10. size of the idol being immersed.
  11. For every ticket issued a nominal immersion fee of Rs 1.00 should be collected and this amount should NOT be revised upwards at all.
  12. The revenue generated from the above should be utilised for the removing the idols or the silt during the festival season.

Leave a Reply