In 2017, it was found that 440 tons of garbage was generated after 3.48 lakh Ganesha idols were immersed in the city’s lakes

As Ganesha Chaturthi nears Karnataka officials push for eco-friendly idolsPTI/ file
news Enviornment Monday, August 20, 2018 - 15:19

With Ganesha Chaturthi less than a month away, the Karnataka administration is putting measures in place to minimise the environmental damage seen due to the festival. Every year, the festival results in massive environmental damage as idols made from non-biodegradable material end up in the city’s already ailing lakes .

This year, the festival is slated to be celebrated on September 13. Leading to the day of the festival, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, in a joint effort, are raising awareness on the issue.

In order to counter the influx of environmentally damaging idols, the KSPCB itself is taking it upon itself to pitch eco-friendly idols and distribute some to temples.

“We are engaging with NGOs, volunteer groups and RWAs to educate people about the importance of environmentally friendly idols,” Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) Chairman Lakshman told TNM.

The BBMP has also decided to install mobile tanks where worshippers can immerse the idols, with an average of four tanks per ward. In order to make the system work, the KSPCB has also capped the height of Ganesha idols at five feet across the state.

Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad also announced that idol makers who use plaster of paris will be penalised.

Lakshman added, “All district commissioners have been instructed to ensure eco-friendly idols are used in the festival.”

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had stated in 2017 that 440 tons of garbage was generated after 3.48 lakh Ganesha idols were immersed in the city’s lakes.

From 2017, the KSPCB has banned the use of plaster of paris as an ingredient. The matter had gone to the Karnataka High Court when the idol makers challenged the notice stating that clay idols do not attract customers as they are fragile. However, the Karnataka High Court upheld the notice.

In 2014, post the festival, a sample study by the KSPCB discovered a spike in heavy metal content in the lakes. The pollutants included chromium, zinc, copper and nickel.

 

 

 

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