The court maintained that its endeavour is not to hurt religious feelings but also protecting natural surroundings
The Bombay High Court ordered Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) monitoring committee to determine whether one artificial pond at Aarey Colony will be sufficient for Ganpati idol immersions during the ongoing Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.
A division bench of the HC was hearing a petition filed by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), seeking more artificial ponds in Aarey, on September 25.
The court maintained that its “endeavour is not to hurt religious feelings but also protecting natural surroundings”.
All these are matters to be considered by experts. What would suffice, whether it is one artificial pond or six or one truck-mounted tank or 10, is up to the monitoring committee, the HC observed.
“We will ask the committee to consider and take appropriate decision. If it is adequate then fine and if not, then we are only saying that arrangements can be made. The endeavour is to not hurt anybody’s religious feeling but also protect natural surroundings,” it added.
While hearing a plea by the non-profit Vanashakti on September 12, the HC had asked the BMC to make adequate setups for safe immersion, following the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board and the Union environment ministry.
The organisation was seeking a ban on the immersion in the natural lakes in Aarey Colony.
According to the BMC, immersion of idols in the lakes at Sanjay Gandhi National Park would not be permitted by the municipal authorities unless the chief executive (CEO) of Aarey Colony grants appropriate clearance. Following this, the CEO subsequently informed the HC that no permission would be granted for the immersion in the colony lake.
After a meeting, the monitoring committee agreed to create one artificial pond inside the colony area, and idols have been immersed therein since last week, said advocate Anil Singh, representing VHP.
While advocate Milind Sathe, who appeared for the BMC, said six truck-mounted tanks had been set up for immersion, Singh said one artificial pond was insufficient given the number of idols brought for immersion.
Last year, seven artificial ponds were constructed in addition to granting permission to submerge the idols in lakes, he added.
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