VIJAYAWADA: With Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has joined hands with the Pollution Control Board (PCB) to spread awareness among the public over ill effects of immersing idols made from plaster of psaris in water bodies.
According to VMC officials, the civic body has received around 1,000 applications from the organisers for setting up of pandals in the city. Of the total, 750 applications have been approved after taking into consideration the stipulated guidelines issued by the police. As the celebrations will begin on Thursday, the officials are expecting around 300 more applications requesting permission for pandals.
Meanwhile, the regional PCB officials are all set to monitor the pollution-level of water bodies across the city before and after immersion of idols of Lord Ganesha. ‘’The PCB has been directed to collect water samples from Krishna river at various points across the city and district for examination,” K Srinivas, AP PCB’s senior environmental scientist, said.
The VMC has also been asked to prevent devotees from dumping flowers, clothes and decorative items used during prayers in the water bodies, he said.
As the public are demanding Single Window System for granting of permission for pandals, the police, in association with Krishna administration, set up ‘Citizen Service Point’ at the Government Veterinary Hospital, Labbipet on Monday. In this regard, the cops are requesting the organisers to make use of this facility for availing permission.
City Commissioner of Police Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said the police have conducted a coordination meeting with all the line departments in connection with arrangements for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the city. “The idols should be immersed only at Seethamma Vari Padalu after the festival concludes. Two cranes have already been arranged for the purpose. Immersion will be not allowed at any other ghat. The decision is taken to protect drinking water from being polluted with chemicals,” Rao added.