Ankush Jadhav, the chief officer of the Alandi Municipal Council (AMC), said: “The Warkaris come from all over the state. They take a sacred dip in the river. Some of them even drink water from the river. This can cause them health problems. Thus, we have issued a specific order to prevent this practice.
A thick layer of toxic foam has surfaced in the river water over the past few days. This could pose a health risk to warkaris, who have started coming to take part in the annual Palkhi procession due to start on June 21 in the temple town of Alandi, about 25 km from Pune.
The cleaning of the hyacinth from the riverbed continued on a war footing, Jadhav said. “Saturday, we cleaned the hyacinths from the ghat areas, where a maximum of warkaris bathe in the river. Thus, they would not face any problems while staying in the city for the next few days.
The council enlisted a crew of workers and earthworks to clean up the river. The team had already removed tons of hyacinths from the river, another official said. In addition, the state irrigation department on Saturday discharged water from the Kolhapur type dam in Dehuhe added.