Height limit on clay Ganeshas to get green theme going

Height limit on clay Ganeshas to get green theme going

There will be no height restriction on idols made of eco-friendly material other than clay. dh file photo

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is contemplating on imposing height restrictions on community Ganesha idols made of clay.

“Last year, we noticed that clay idols up to a height of three-four feet were installed in many pandals. A meeting will be held in the coming days to fix the height. This will ensure that they are easy to make, carry, immerse and control water pollution,” KSPCB chairman Lakshman told DH.

The idea is to promote eco-friendly idols and completely ban plaster of Paris (PoP) idols. Till last year, the Board had permitted use of uncleared stock of PoP idols.

Eco-friendly idols are those which are made of clay and can easily dissolve in water, leaving no trace of pollutants. They are painted with vegetable and other organic colours, which are not harmful to the environment.

Lakshman said religious sentiments would be kept in mind. Those using other green materials to make idols could be permitted to have taller idols. The KSPCB officials have decided to take legal action against PoP idol manufacturers and sellers. Directions have been issued to deputy commissioners and municipalities to identify and close down units manufacturing and selling them.

To make eco-friendly idols easily available, KSPCB is tying up with NGOs, festival organisers and sellers. Lakshman said the final list of locations where eco-friendly idols would be sold was yet to be finalised. They will be available in places like government schools, temples, NGOs, government offices and parks. Rates will vary from Rs 100-500, depending on the size. KSPCB aims to sell at least a lakh such idols in Bengaluru alone.

However, manufacturers are unhappy with height restrictions. Vinayaka, a manufacturer, said normally people seek idols that are up to eight-foot tall. “Last year, we created structures with husk and other green materials. But it will be a problem with increasing government restrictions. Thematic idols are made with large structures,” he said.

Ramu, another manufacturer, said bringing clay from lake beds was a challenge as monsoon was good and all water bodies were full. So, meeting the demand for clay idols would be difficult.

“Less people prefer clay idols as they are fragile and develop cracks while transporting. Finding labourers to transport the idols has also become a challenge,” he said.

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