Confusion over immersion of Vinakaya idols at Mookaneri Lake

The Idol of Vinayaka being immersed in River Cauvery in Mettur on Tuesday.— Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan  

The district administration has not listed Mookaneri Lake as a place for immersion of Vinayaka idols while the city police are preparing to provide security arrangements for the idol immersion scheduled for Wednesday. This cause confusion among the people as question rises whether idol immersion would be allowed on Wednesday.

Collector V. Sampath in a press release dated September 1, 2016 said that immersion of idols would be permitted only in Ammapet Lake, Seelanaickenpatti Lake, Cauvery River points at Poolampatty and at Mettur.

The release also added that idols should be immersed only in these placed as per guidelines issued by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). However, as contrary to places allowed for immersion, Inspector of Police, Kannankurichi Police Station in the city has requested the Dean of the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital to provide medical assistance between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. during idol immersion at Mookaneri. The letter dated September 3, 2016 said that over 1,000 people are expected to immerse the idol at the lake located in the police station limits. Hence, the Inspector sought a medical team equipped with first-aid kits to be present at the spot on Wednesday.

But, officials at the district administration said that the lake is not permitted for immersion of idols.

However, senior police officials said that they did not receive any directions from the district administration and security arrangements would be in place when people gather in large numbers at the lake for immersion of idols.

They added that the lake was listed for immersion last year and hence they were following the same list.

The lake in Kannankurichi belongs to the Public Works Department and the Salem Citizens Forum led by its convener Piyush Manush had obtained permission from the district administration for renovating and restoring the lake. On September 26, 2012, Piyush surrendered himself before a court in Salem stating that he was unable to save the lake from polluters who immersed idols of Vinayaka, made of plaster of Paris.