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Don't Permit POP Idol Immersion In Hussain Sagar Lake For Ganesh Chaturthi: Telangana High Court Directs State

Hannah M Varghese
10 Sep 2021 6:50 AM GMT
Dont Permit POP Idol Immersion In Hussain Sagar Lake For Ganesh Chaturthi: Telangana High Court Directs State
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A two-judge panel of the Telangana High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice M S Ramachandra Rao and Justice T Vinod Kumar on Thursday issued a series of guidelines in view of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations across Hyderabad. The Court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Advocate Mamidi Venumadhav alleging willful disobedience of the order passed by a Division Bench directing to...

A two-judge panel of the Telangana High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice M S Ramachandra Rao and Justice T Vinod Kumar on Thursday issued a series of guidelines in view of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations across Hyderabad.

The Court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Advocate Mamidi Venumadhav alleging willful disobedience of the order passed by a Division Bench directing to restrict the immersion of Ganesh and goddess Durga idols in Hussain Sagar. Lake.

The petitioner contended that respondents permitting immersion of all types of idols including idols made with Plaster of Paris (POP) in the lake and sought the protection of the said lake from water pollution.

He pointed out that the immersion of idols also entails much expenditure to the State Government towards security arrangements, hiring cranes and it would be better if people were to be encouraged to use clay idols and immerse them in their own residences so as to reduce the pollution in the said Lake. 

The Bench made clear that the State Government should not allow Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris to be immersed in Hussain Sagar.

It was also noted that the Telangana State Pollution Control Board, which is supposed to implement the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board seems somewhat reluctant to take measures for violation of its directions for a more eco-friendly Ganesh immersion in the Hussain Sagar Lake.

The Court also observed as follows:

"The respondents ought to have banned manufacture and sale of POP Ganesh idols since the Central Pollution Control Board Guidelines were known to them and they had ample time to do so before the festival on 10.09.2021. Due to their inaction, people who were making their living by making idols already would have purchased materials including POP and synthetic paints. Thus, any direction issued now not to allow the sale or use of the said idols would hit them hard. However, the Court cannot ignore the possible threat of further water pollution to the Hussain Sagar Lake."

Therefore, the respondents were directed to permit immersion of POP Ganesh idols

(i) in baby ponds already constructed by the GHMC or

(ii) separate areas/ponds which do not spread the water pollution into the main water body. 

The Court also suggested the respondents to explore the use of inflatable rubber dam wall as was used while carrying on dredging operations in the Hussain Sagar Lake earlier by encircling the area for immersion of idols as an alternative.

It was further directed that low height and environmentally friendly Ganesh idols must be used and the pandal organisers must resort to airing the celebrations at the pandals virtually as far as possible.

The organisers have been strictly instructed to not play any loud music keeping in mind the health of the sick.

Furthermore, usage of loudspeakers has been banned post 10 pm. The concerned must also remove the waste from the lake immediately after immersion to avoid silt accumulation to prevent overflowing of water.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been directed to provide masks free of cost on the last day of the celebration.

The Pollution Control Board has also been directed to ensure that the guidelines are strictly implemented.

Lastly, the State Government has also been directed to issue appropriate orders much before the festivities began and ensure adequate publicity is given.

The Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is an annual event occurring usually in the month of September of every year. Devotees purchase idols of Lord Ganesh, offer prayers and prasadam to the deity and immerse the idol in a water body usually after 11 days. 

In the city of Hyderabad, this festival has been celebrated with great pomp and grandeur in the last 5 decades and immersion of idols of Lord Ganesh is being permitted in the Hussain  Sagar Lake which is in the heart of the city.

Over a period of time, the general public is being made aware of the risk of water pollution in the Hussain Sagar Lake and being encouraged to use clay idols made using natural colours on account of initiatives taken by the Telangana State Pollution Control Board, the GHMC and also the Police Department.

However, the use of such idols is still much lesser compared to the number of Plaster of Paris idols painted with synthetic colours and made from steel or iron fabrication which are sold and utilized by people of the city for offering puja. 

Click Here To Read The Order




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