Mumbai: A day after the immersion ceremony of hundreds of big and small idols of Lord Ganesh, the state`s favourite elephant-headed god, Mumbai residents, from students to community workers and even a few celebrities, Thursday joined clean-up drives along the sea beaches and other water fronts.
They supplemented the efforts of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation conservancy staff who hit the immersion venues since dawn to restore the beaches and water fronts to their normal condition.
Vile Parle Congress legislator Krishna Hegde led a team of several hundred school and college students, volunteers of NGOs, social workers and others to clean up the Juhu Beach at dawn Thursday.
"We have been doing this since the past six years as part of efforts to keep the entire Vile Parle clean. Today, we removed over 60 truckloads of refuse from the beach areas," Hegde told, perspiring profusely from the clean-up drive.
A group of National Social Service volunteers from the U.P. Gandhi College of Management, Vile Parle, trooped to Juhu Beach with brooms and pans and cleaned up a large part of the city`s most famous waterfront.
They were joined by celebrities like Bollywood villain Raza Murad and actor Razak Khan among others. They swept and collected the mounds of refuse left over after the immersion celebrations.
Since the past few years, civic authorities have been impressing upon the people to strip the Ganesh idols of toxic and non-soluble material, dump them in bins kept specially for the purpose so that it could also be easily collected later for disposal.
According to a BMC official, most of the refuse comprised tons of flowers, sweets and Prasad boxes, foil decorations on the Ganesh idols as also plastic bags, thermocol and cardboards.
Similar clean-up operations were on at various other prominent immersion sites, including Girgaum Chowpatty Beach in south Mumbai, the main immersion venue in the city, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, several lakes, ponds and artificial water bodies created especially for the immersion.