Monday, September 8, 2008

Enjoy festivals without creating hassles

It's the time of the year when festivals take a centerstage across India. With all the major festivals Ganpati, Dassera, Diwali lined up there will be a lot of energy, happiness, excitement in and around us. However there are many side effects of this season as well. Let's take Ganpati & Dassera for instance. Ganpati is celebrated at a grand scale in Maharashtra & Gujrat; Dassera is celebrated the same way in West Bengal & Bihar. 

In both festivals, many idols of the Ganesha/Durga and others are created in all shapes & sizes, which are setup on a platform for public viewing and in many places a huge gate is setup which serves as entrance/exit for public. The passage from entrance to the Idols is decorated with lights and decorative rope work, or the whole passage is covered with cloth walls/ceiling leading to the idols where the main hall is created.. resembling a huge decorative tent (called Pandal). This celebration goes for ten days followed by huge idol immersion processions. The whole effort consumes a lot of money/man power/energy but sure brings happiness & satisfaction to many. But the main tangible side effect of this whole process are Dugup Roads. 

To create idol platforms & pandals, roads are dugup at many places; causing the roads to become fragile & potholes are formed fairly quickly. This inturn causes traffic nightmares to commuters and management hazard for the municipal corporations. 

Cause of this is the use of bamboos as the base to erect everything and to bamboos are supported by burying them partly in the ground. As enevitable this may look to many of us but I see a good business opportunity here which will make this whole process more infrasturcture friendly.  Instead of using bamboos as support we can use poles (made of light metal) with a tripod like base (made of heavy metal). This will and to further strenghten it; they can be linked to each other by a thin metalic mesh. on the lines of how the cots are made. Just that it's scale will be greater. 

So, the foldable and linkable structures can be manufactured and sold as ready to use pandal kits, any kind of decoration can be done on these structures. Then the tent houses will buy these products and lease it out to the mandals/samitis whever they need it. They can also be utilized to create pandals for weddings, fairs, exihibitions and many more. So, we will have easy to setup, highly reusable pandals which will over time cost less and cause less problems to administration and do no harm to roads. On the similar line platforms can be made of interlinked table like structures. I believe this will surely reduce the damage done to the roads and create a new industry providing business avenues & employement for many.

Some of the other side effects, 
a)  Water pollution - We already have efforts to make green idols & ban on PoP. Also can encourage people to have metallic idols and reuse them every year, which is already an accepted practice.

b) Sound pollution - We have decibel limits in place and the deadline which no body seems to follow. One way is to play the songs but don't have speakers. Instead the music is streamed using A2DP over bluetooth (which give wireless high quality stereo music). Now the visitors can simply have to put on an A2DP enabled headset and they will enjoy and no one will get disturbed. But this doesn't seem to be very adaptable as of now.


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