Thousands Of Dead Fishes Wash Ashore Mumbai's Beaches After Ganesha Visarjan
After September 19, which was the 7th day of Ganapati Visarjan in Mumbai, reportedly, thousands of dead fishes and turtles washed up to the shores of Mumbai’s beaches on the mornings of September 20 and 21. Experts have said that it is mainly because of the immersion of Plaster of Paris (PoP) Ganesh idol in the sea which has contributed to this.
The immersion of PoP idols is the main cause
“PoP Ganesh idols predominantly affect the seawater ecology and cause aquatic species death. With the effect of Visarjan on the 7th day, many volunteers came to clean up the seashore, expectedly they found thousands of marine animals dead on the shore” said Chinu Jeet Kwatra, CEO of Aarna Foundation to The Logical Indian.
“The situation will be even worse after the Visarjan on the 11th day. Due to the immersion of PoP idols, effects may not be seen immediately but affects after one-two months. Adding to this; flower garlands, plastic decorative materials used during the celebration are also polluting the sea,” added Kwatra.
Last year there were only 50-60 volunteers who came to the clean-up drive, but this year’s response is extremely impressive. Almost 1000 volunteers participated in Clean- up drive, “Every year we conduct the cleanup drive, this year there is a 10% decline in the PoP Ganesh idols. We are trying our best to spread awareness among the people, but people should realise by themselves that our festive celebration is creating an ecological imbalance.” Kwatra said.
“During this time of the year, currents stay close to the shore, so there is not much dilution of the water, and polluted water builds up along the shore. This has led to the fish dying” says Debi Goenka, Executive trustee, Conservation Action Trust to Mumbai Mirror.
Why PoP affects water bodies?
PoP and colours added to the idols are non-biodegradable substances, these take several months to dissolve in the water and affects aquatic life. According to a study published in International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Technology, “After Ganesh Visarjan, there is a significant change in certain physicochemical properties of water like decrease in the dissolved oxygen, BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and free CO2, whereas increase in the total alkalinity, total hardness, total Calcium, COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand), Oil and Grease, temperature and pH were observed during the immersion period.”
The Logical Indian Take
Despite the fact that festivals are meant for spreading prosperity and happiness we are causing massive damage to the environment. This way of celebration disrupts the natural balance of our ecosystem and hampers marine life. The Logical Indian encourages that everyone should go for eco-friendly Ganesha and keep the environment safe.