Mysore/Mysuru: River Cauvery, the lifeline of several districts in Karnataka and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, has been losing its pristine glory at Srirangapatna owing to lack of a proper system to prevent pollution caused during sacred rituals.
Paschimavahini, Gosai Ghat and Sangama on the banks of Cauvery River in Srirangapatna are among a few sacred places in South India where thousands of people from across the country come to immerse the ashes of the dead and also offer worship during Mahalaya Amavasya and Pitru Paksha.
Owing to this sacred practice, the river is getting increasingly contaminated as adequate measures have not been initiated to prevent pollution during and after rituals. Piles of garlands, polythene covers, plantain leaves, leftover food, clothes and other puja materials are seen dumped at these places.
People immerse ashes, clay pots, garbage, clothes, bananas and coconuts, photos of deities and other materials offered during the rituals into the River. All that they bring from outside for the rituals are dumped here before they leave the place.
This has been going on for years and the Srirangapatna Panchayat has done little to clean up the mess though it collects a prescribed fee for the rituals to be performed. Not only during Pitru Paksha, people come here daily to perform pujas and on an average, over 1,500 people visit daily for the rituals.
Realising the desperate need to cleanse the area and the River bed that is considered sacred, Yuva Brigade launched a campaign last Sunday (Oct. 10) where over 30 volunteers got into the act of cleaning. They entered the river bed at around 6 am and by 2 pm, they could collect five tractor loads of garbage.
Srirangapatna TMC has not made arrangements for people to throw away the waste materials and there are only a few dustbins on the banks. This has compounded the problem. Also, after the rituals are performed, there is no system of cleaning the waste at Paschimavahini, Gosai Ghat and Sangama.
People visit these places to immerse ashes and perform 27 types of pujas, as per the Hindu customs and there are over 100 Priests who perform such pujas on the banks of River Cauvery.
For the Yuva Brigade cleaning drive, Srirangapatna TMC allotted a tractor to carry the waste, said Chandrashekar, Yuva Brigade in-charge of Mysuru.
The group of volunteers were led by Ranjith, Kiran, Sandesh, Manoj, Sooraj, Ravi, Supreeth, Rudresh, Prashanth, Sagar Manju and Anil.