Hours after the immersion, as garlands, broken idols and plastic waste lay
strewn, operation clean-up began at Mumbai’s beaches. Armed with rakes
and beach-cleaners, BMC workers, NGOs and some party workers started
scrubbing operations in the wee hours of Sunday.
The battalion had an arduous task at hand: to re-immerse more than 3,000
idols that were washed ashore during the high tide at the Girgaum, Juhu,
Dadar, Versova and Mahim beaches. This was in addition to scooping out
layers of flowers, thermacol and other paraphernalia that follows the
Ganesh idol into the sea.
“The sea spewed out the broken idols at each of these beaches during
high tide. We had to employ boats to reimmerse idols once the tide
subsided,’’ said Dhananjay Dabholkar from
Aniruddha Samarpan Pathak, a voluntary organisation that has been lending
the civic body a helping hand at the beaches after every immersion for the
past three years.
Volunteers ranged from school children
to senior citizens wading through the muck and picking up the waste with
their hand gloves.
At Juhu beach, Congress candidate Priya Dutt launched a clean-up drive
where thousands of party workers spread out on the beach. “After the
deluge, Juhu beach was under a three-feet-deep layer of waste. The onus of
keeping beaches clean doesn’t lie only on the BMC. Post Ganesh Chaturthi,
Juhu beach has seen everyone from NGOs to college students come forward on
their own to help in the clean-up drive,’’ said Dutt.
“Since the beginning of Ganesh Chaturthi, the city has been generating
an additional 2,000 tonnes of waste per day. On Sunday, the massive
clean-up drive yielded a lot of waste and some more waste is expected to
spill ashore after the high tide on Monday,’’ said a civic official.