PoP goes curbs? Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has feet of clay | Hyderabad News – Times of India

HYDERABAD: As Ganesh immersions start to pick up pace, civic officials admit that the task of keeping the Hussainsagar clean of any PoP material is getting tougher.
Over the last two days hundreds of idols – most of them small and mid-sized — made their way to the iconic water. But while staff from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) along with local policemen managed to persuade some to use the baby ponds – set up especially for PoP Ganeshas – they failed to convince everybody to steer clear of the ancient lake, also popular as the Vinayak Sagar.
“We managed to counsel some and re-direct them towards the artificial ponds, even as they cited tradition as a reason for using the Hussainsagar. But it wasn’t possible to stop everybody. Those who came with small idols – not more than five feet in height – and did not need any assistance with the crane, simply immersed them into the lake even before we could intervene,” said GHMC sanitary in-charge. Even the grills put up to keep devotees away from accessing the lake, failed to deter them.
“We know about artificial ponds, but there is a reason why this place is called Vinayak Sagar. Also, the authorities concerned recently told us during a review meeting that we could celebrate Ganesh Utsav in any which manner as we see fit,” said Raghu Sharma, a pandal organiser from BS Maktha area justifying why Ganeshas must be immersed in Hussainsagar.
Krishna Rao, another pandal organiser with a PoP idol while welcoming the restrictions lamented that there weren’t any signages guiding them to the artificial ponds. “We do not want to pollute the lake, but civic officials must create more awareness about them,” he said.
In July this year, the Telangana high court directed the state government to ensure that no PoP idol is immersed in any lake in the city, especially the Hussainsagar. It, however, allowed for the sale of such idols.
“The situation right now is still under control as we are able to clear out the debris soon after the immersions since majority of these are small idols. Differentiating between clay and PoP and subsequently stopping the latter from being immersed in Hussainasagar will become a Herculean task as the final day approaches. There will be hundreds of idols coming in at the same time,” said the GHMC official. Though the civic body has already deployed cranes at NTR Marg and People’s Plaza near Tank Bund, some of them are yet to become functional. It is likely to happen closer to September 9 when officials hope 75% of the idols will come out for immersion.
“In terms of traffic, we are prepared for a smooth immersion procession. Routes have been identified and we are coordinating with other departments,” said joint commissioner (traffic), AV Ranganath.