The practice of immersion of Ganesh idols after the Ganesh festival in various cities is causing severe water pollution which leads to the death of tonnes of fish and many aquatic creatures. Gone are the days when the idols are made with clay, nowadays idols are made with Plaster Of Paris and chemical dyes.
The repeated cautions and warnings of ecologists and environmental scientists towards the possible hazards inflicted by the Plaster Of Paris are falling into the deaf ears of the idol makers and buyers. According to scientists, Plaster Of Paris does not get dissolved or disintegrated fast. Moreover, the chemical dyes and colours being used to colour the idols contain poisonous elements. Particularly, Red, Blue, Orange and Green colours contain Mercury, Zinc oxide, Chromium and Lead, the potential causes of developing cancer.
According to one estimate, 7500 idols of Ganesh are weighing about 20,000 kg or in other words, 20 tons. The sea-shore of Mumbai absorbs the immersion of about 1.5 lakh idols every year. The very calculation of the accumulation of clay, Plaster Of Paris, dangerous Chemicals from the paints and colours will shatter the thinking faculty of any brain.
The immersion of Durga Statutes during the Durga pooja is also a cause of concern for environmentalists. In Orissa alone 5,000 Durga pooja idols are made, most of them using harmful paints.
Heavy metals like lead and chrome are not easily assimilated in an aquatic environment and can lead to the massive hurt of flora and fauna of the river, pond, lake and coastal areas. As the same river, pond and lake water is used for bathing and drinking purpose high levels of lead can...