Ganesh mandal unions take decision to do so from this year, but say they have no alternatives for sarvajanik mandals’ idols and could still use PoP
An artisan works on Ganesh idols at Vijay Khatu’s workshop at Parel. File pic/Sameer Markande
In a decision that will help the environment, Ganesh Mandal unions have decided to create household idols for Ganeshotsav from clay this year. The decision was taken in a meeting held on Wednesday in the presence of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and government officials. However, the idol makers said they have no alternatives for Sarwajanik Mandal’s idols which could still be made of Plaster Of Paris (PoP).
Last year idol makers had refused to make the idols from clay. “We have decided that from this year all household Ganesh idols will be made with shadu (clay). A committee has also been formed to suggest how to reduce polluting substances in PoP or to suggest alternatives for it. But there is no alternative for Sarwajanik Mandal idols. But we are appealing to them to make eco-friendly idols,” said Naresh Dahibaonkar of the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti. There are 2 lakh household Ganpati idols and 10,000 sarvajanik idols in Mumbai.
Suresh Sarnobat of the Akhil Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mahasangh said the CM has appealed to people to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly manner. “We have decided that from this year household idols will be made from shadu and immersed in artificial ponds,” Sarnobat said. Civic chief I S Chahal was present at the meeting. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had banned PoP idols in 2020.
The committee to suggest alternatives, announced by the CM will have the Principal Secretary of Water Resources, Rural Development, Law and Justice, Environment, Urban Development as a member and the member secretary of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board as member secretary of the committee. Representatives of IIT-Bombay including Dr Ajay Deshpande, NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) and scientist Dr Sharad Kale will also be in the committee. Chahal did not respond to messages.
No of sarwajanik idols across Mumbai