There was the usual throng around the immersion pond at Ulsoor lake on Monday evening. The crowds which came to offer puja and distribute prasada before immersing their Ganesh idol ended up polluting not only the lake but also its surroundings.

The flowers and decorative materials stripped before the immersion were dumped outside the lake, and the footpath was strewn with bananas, coconuts, incense sticks, plantain leaves and so on, though the authorities has installed waste bins.

But there were exceptions too. Shubham and her family members diligently picked up after them, collecting all the puja materials in a plastic bag which they placed in the waste bin. They were very appreciative of the arrangements made by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). A BBMP official said: “We ensure that flowers and other materials are removed from the idols before their immersion. But we have no orders to prevent people performing puja on the footpath around the pond. It is difficult to ask people to do away with tradition.”

“We're allowing people to perform puja quickly so as not to hurt their sentiments. But many don't bother to [clean up] after the puja,” said a police official looking supervising the security at the lake.

Except for minor hiccups, traffic was not affected much around the lake during the peak hour.

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