HC calls on SNGP to determine adequacy of single artificial pond for Ganpati immersion


The Bombay High Court has instructed the monitoring committee of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) to evaluate whether one artificial pond in Aarey Colony would suffice for Ganpati idol immersion, emphasizing that the aim is to respect everyone’s religious sentiments.
The division bench, led by Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor, has conveyed that if the committee deems it necessary to establish more artificial ponds, appropriate arrangements should be made.
“All these are matters to be considered by experts. What would suffice…whether it is one artificial pond or six or a truck-mounted tank or 10 is up to the monitoring committee,” the court stated.
“The endeavor is to not hurt anybody’s religious feelings…We will ask the committee to consider and make an appropriate decision. If one pond is sufficient, then fine, but if not, then we are only suggesting that arrangements can be made,” Chief Justice Upadhyaya remarked.
The court’s decision came during a hearing of an application filed by a leader from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) requesting permission for immersion at the lakes in Aarey Colony. This year, the CEO of Aarey Colony denied permission for lake immersions.
On Monday, the petitioner’s counsel, Anil Singh, informed the bench that the monitoring committee had convened and decided to create an artificial pond within Aarey for immersions, which have been taking place since the previous Wednesday. Additionally, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has supplied six truck-mounted tanks for immersion, as revealed by senior counsel Milind Sathe, who represents the civic body.
However, Singh contended that a single pond might not be adequate given the number of idols brought for immersion. He noted, “Last year, apart from granting permission for immersions in the lakes, seven artificial ponds were established. We are not currently seeking permission for lake immersions but rather requesting additional artificial ponds.”