Pimpri: Following the meeting with Commissioner of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Shravan Hardikar, right wing organisations in Pimpri Chinchwad on Thursday softened their stand on Ganesh idol donations. The organisations, demanding a ban on donations, finally agreed that such donations prevent river pollution. With Hardikar’s mediation, both parties have agreed to carry out idol donation ensuring that collected idols will be properly immersed in a stone quarry.
Hardikar called a meeting of both sides on Thursday. A Bajrang Dal activist said, “We are not against the environment-friendly work, however, we observed that under the pretext of saving the environment, Ganesh idols are collected from devotees and are not immersed properly.”
Responding to this objection, the green activists said that idols will be immersed with due respect.
Since both parties were firm on their stand, PCMC Commissioner Hardikar suggested a solution. He asked the right wing organisation to send two volunteers to accompany the pro-environment activists to ensure collected donated idols are properly immersed.
Bajrang Dal activist Kunal Sathe, Mangesh Nadhe, Shardul Pendharkar, Nikhil Bhalke, Sanjay Shelke from right wing organisations and Hemant Gawade, Nilesh Maral, Mohan Gaikwad from Sanskar Pratishthan and Milind Deshmukh from pro-environment organisation were present for the meeting. Prof Maruti Shelar from DY Patil Pharmacy College, Pravin Ladkat from Water Supply Department of PCMC were also present.
Due to the aggressive stand taken by a few right wing organisations, environment activists had announced they will not collect the idols this year. Environmental groups had said that PCMC was not supporting them. Chinchwad police too had advised activists to drop the idea of collection of Ganesh idols this year.
The right wing organisations shared provocative posts on social media. Due to this, there was tension at immersion ghats.
Mayor Nitin Kalje had taken a stand favouring the right wing organisation and said that immersion is a matter of religious belief and it is upon an individual to donate an idol or not and no one can force them for donation.