Kolhapur : There is no action being taken against chemical factories, sewage water and garbage to stop the environmental pollution during the whole year; but Municipal Administration and environmentalists pin the blame on the annual Ganeshotsav! The Ganesh devotees are compelled to donate the idol they worship with so much reverence, or to immerse it in artificial tanks (which cost crores of Rupees to build). Over the last 2 years there have been numerous incidents of thousands of fish dying in the Panchaganga river due water released from sugar factories. The Pollution Board has not taken concrete action in this regard. Ganesh Mandals from Ichalkaranji have demanded permission to allow immersion of Shri Ganesh idols in the Panchaganga River only. Mr Ramesh Shinde, National spokesperson, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), therefore demanded that instead of promoting anti-Dharmik campaigns like immersion of idols in Artificial tanks and ‘Donating Ganesh idols’, the Kolhapur Administration also should allow immersion in the Panchaganga River only.
Vice president of Bal Hanuman Tarun Mandal Mr Sunil Chowgule, Shivsena Kolhapur Upajilhapramukh Mr Sambhajirao Bhokre, HJS District Coordinator Mr Kiran Duse, and Mr Aditya Shastri were present on the occasion. The demand has been supported by Shivsena Karveer Taluka Pramukh Mr Raju Yadav and devout Hindu Mr Sharad Mali.
Mr Ramesh Shinde said,
1. We had asked for a report about the intensity of the pollution caused by immersion of Shri Ganesh idols; but the Pollution Control Board has not provided any such report so far.
2. The Municipality has been fined thrice by the Pollution Control Board for its failure to stop pollution. Therefore the one who is failing to stop the pollution should not complain that immersion of Shri Ganesh idols cause pollution.
Mr Sambhajirao Bhokre said that they had been staging agitations since last 15 years to oppose pollution of rivers. Many factories release filthy water in the river which is harmful for the health of people. Animals are also washed in this water which affects them too. We had brought these problems to the notice of the Pollution Control Board many times; but not a single strong action is being taken by the board. Besides we have approached sculptors also to encourage them to make idols from ‘Shadu’ clay. We try to inspire devotees also to embrace the same. Many wake up to the pollution issue only when there is a Hindu festival around. We have witnessed instances where Idols brought for immersion were forcibly taken away from the devotees. It is a mystery as to what happens to the idols that have been taken away by the administration as ‘donated’ idols.