Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) decided to distribute ammonium bicarbonate free of cost to citizens, to help dissolve the Ganesh idols in a bucket of water within 48 hours of the immersion, but this supply of ammonium bicarbonate has not yet been done to the ward and health offices in different parts of the city.
PMC has approved the purchase of 150 metric tonnes of ammonium bicarbonate for this purpose. This decision has been taken after considering the difficulties citizens face during the immersion process of Ganesh idols especially those made with the Plaster of Paris (PoP) which is insoluble in plain water. In view of the ban on immersion tanks at public places for Ganesh idols visarjan on the 2nd, 5th, 7th and 10th day of the domestic Ganeshotsav, the ammonium bicarbonate solution will be an alternative for citizens to do the idol immersion at their homes.
Mayor Murlidhar Mohol and Joint Commissioner of Pune Police Dr Ravindra Shisve had elaborated the crowding scene if immersion tanks are allowed to be operated on the visarjan day for citizens. Considering two to four persons stepping out for the immersion process and around 6 lakh Ganesh idols were immersed in artificial water tanks, it can be estimated that 15 to 20 lakh citizens will be out on roads during the 10-day festival, Mohol and Shisve had explained.
With just 24 to 36 hours left for the Ganeshotsav to start and certain population of the city to begin preparations for Ganesh idols immersion on the 2nd day of the festival, the delay in providing ammonium bicarbonate to citizens may prove costly for the PMC.
The standing committee of the PMC had approved a budget of Rs 33.44 lakh for distribution of ammonium bicarbonate free of cost to citizens. This solution is being procured from the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited Company.
Solid Waste Management Department Head Dnyaneshwar Molak told media persons that the PMC had a stock of 50 kilograms of ammonium bicarbonate. The fresh stock has been dispatched by the company and will arrive soon.