The per motto of the laboratory "The purpose of this laboratory is to advance the knowledge and apply chemical science for the good of the people" CSIR-NCL is bound to work for society and address the issues of industries as well as common man. So far in our group we have worked on various industrial problems as well as worked on fundamental science. We have worked on abatement of pollution specifically from automotive sector. However for first time we could work on societal problem for preventing the water pollution.
Ganesh festival is celebrated across Pune for 125 years and presently more than 5 lakh Ganesh idols made up of Plaster of Paris (POP) are worshiped in Pune. After immersion the POP idols does not dissolve in water. CSIR-NCL, Pune have decided to help prevent water pollution by providing a solution to dissolve POP based Ganesh idols. The scientists at CSIR-NCL have carried out extensive research on finding out solution for dissolving Plaster of Paris (POP) based Ganesh idols.
NCL in collaboration with PMC, Cummins India and Mojj Engineering Systems have extensively worked to find out solution for dissolving Plaster of Paris (POP) based Ganesh idols without hurting the sentiments of the devotees. Initially the project was aimed at implementing this solution centrally by PMC on a larger scale. However looking at the difficulty in implementation on such a large scale (5-6 lakh POP idols), it was modified to suit the implementation on individual level. Hence in the next phase of the project, the procedure was modified so that a common man can implement it at home.
I am happy to inform you that this solution was whole heartedly accepted by the people and implemented at home in Pune city since 2016. PMC is generously distributing the free ammonium bicarbonate (100 tons) to Pune citizens every year required for dissolving POP idols.
As a part of social commitment, CSIR-NCL has set up the facility (two tanks of 5000 lit capacity) in NCL premises for implementation of this Eco-Friendly Ganesh Visarjan for people staying in and around NCL. Since 2016 this process is implemented in Pune and is widely accepted by the devotees. Wider publicity on social media has spread the information and since last few year the process is being implemented in many places outside Pune like few villages near Kolhapur, Wai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nagar, and many other cities.
You can walk through this page to get more detailed information about the process, implementations in previous years as well as detailed reports. We will be very happy to respond to your queries if any, for its implementation. If you feel expertise of CSIR-NCL can help to solve some societal problem, we will be very happy to take up such problem.
Dr Shubhangi Umbarkar
★ 6 Lakh idols sold every year in Pune alone
★ 5 Lakh idols are made out of Plaster Of Paris
★ Plaster of Paris does not dissolve in water
★ Large quantities of partially submerged pieces of idols choke the rivers
★ Paints used for the idols cause harm to marine life and pollute the water
★ Large volume of water is used for immersion of idols
Pune Municpal Corporation in collaboration with Cummins,CSIR - National Chemical Laboratory(CSIR-NCL) and Maharashtra Pollution Contrl Board have come up with an eco-friendly immersion process of Ganesh idols!
★ Prevention of water pollution on large scale
★ Liquid residue can be used as fertilizer for plants
★ Multiple users of calcium carbonate(sludge) which is a by-product
★ Very simple to implement
It is simple and safe - you can easily do it at home!!
Plaster of Paris (calicum sulphate)is not soluble in water. Extensive research has
given simple solution for dissolving POP Ganesh idols in water using ammonium
bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
Take a bucket in which the idol can be fully immersed. Fill it with water and add ammonium bicarbonate powder weighing approximately same as weight of Ganesh idol
Remove Nirmalya and other decorative items from the Ganesh idol. Then immerse the Ganesh idol in the solution prepared in Step 1
Gently stir the mixture in the container every 2 to 3 hours. In approximately 48 hours ,Ganesh idol will get completely dissolved. Sludge, that settles at the bottom of container is calcium carbonate
The liquid left is ammonium sulphate which is a popular fertilizer and can be used as such for watering plants and lawns
★ This eco-friendly process can be implemented for idols at home and at the mandals
★ Pune Municipal Corporation has installed demonstration tanks at few
immersion points where this eco-friendly immersion process will be followed.