HYDERABAD: City-based environmentalists and activists say that the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities, especially the immersion of idols in several water bodies, will cause a rise in water pollution in the city lakes. Owing to the subdued festivities in 2020, the residents compensated this year by celebrating in a grand manner with an increased number of idols being procured this year, they say. Every year, the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) monitors the water pollution levels at six points at the Hussainsagar and other water bodies in the city, during and after the festivities.
According to previous year’s TSPCB reports, apart from the last two years, water pollution levels at Hussainsagar and other water bodies have seen a drastic increase. In 2018, at all six points, including at the centre of the lake near the Buddha statue, the level of Dissolved Oxygen (DO), required for survival of aquatic life, was ‘nil’ or zero during the festival period. Water bodies having DO less than 2mg/l are known as ‘dead zones’. In 2018, around 20,000 idols were immersed at Hussainsagar in around 11 days, while this year the number of idols immersed at the lake were more than 30,000.
Speaking to Express, an environmental activist Dr Lubna Sarwath, said,”The government is not just not serious on the protection of Hussainsagar, and infact, is actively demolishing the lake breath by breath.” “Idols are travelling from Old City and far-off places to immerse only in Hussainsagar. Since when did Hussainsagar become a designated idol immersion lake,” she questioned. Many citizens also took to Twitter to complain about the increased noise pollution during the Ganesh Utsav. Many others also cried foul about the music being played post the permitted time and decibels.