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Mumbai: No means no! BMC firm on no PoP Ganesh idols

Updated on: 29 June,2023 08:23 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sameer Surve |

If BJP had its way, PoP idols would be allowed; BMC issues instructions to assistant civic chiefs on ensuring idols are made with eco-friendly materials

Mumbai: No means no! BMC firm on no PoP Ganesh idols

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation wants household idols to be made of shadu (clay) or other eco-friendly materials. File pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would like to allow Ganesh idols made from Plaster of Paris (PoP) this year, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is firm on its decision of allowing only eco-friendly idols. On Monday, the BMC administration forwarded a letter to all assistant municipal commissioners (AMCs) to follow orders on ensuring eco-friendly Ganesh idols.

In a meeting with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on May 17, it was decided that all household Ganesh idols will be made of only eco-friendly materials like shadu (clay). On Monday, Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ramakant Birdar issued a departmental circular to AMCs of all wards saying household Ganesh idols should be up to 4 feet high and it is mandatory that household idols are made of  shadu or other eco-friendly materials. The circular also says it is mandatory to immerse all household Ganesh idols in artificial ponds.

Civic teams to inspect

According to the circular, BMC has made it mandatory for idol makers to paint a green circle behind eco-friendly idols and a red circle behind PoP idols. Ward level teams will also visit all  sculptors’ workshops and stockists’ places to make sure the diktat is being followed. BMC will also provide free space to sculptors making idols with environment-friendly materials on a ‘first come, first served’ basis on a trial basis this year. Shadu will also be made available free of cost as per availability.

While seeking permission for their workshops or stores, sculptors and stockists should submit an undertaking to the BMC that they will make and store idols made of clay or eco-friendly material. It is also mandatory for idol makers who use eco-friendly materials to put up a board with the content—‘eco-friendly idols available here’. BMC has also made it mandatory for sculptors and stockists to submit information to it on the number of idols they make or store for the Ganesh Utsav, and how many of them are up to 4 feet. How many idols are made with Shadu or eco-friendly materials and how many idols are of PoP.

BJP supports PoP idols

BJP leader advocate Ashish Shelar had opposed eco-friendly idols. In a meeting with idol makers on May 17, he expressed support to PoP idols. He claimed banning idols of PoP is not in public interest or in the interest of Maharashtra, or of the country. Even after BMC’s circular Shelar said their demand to allow PoP Ganesh idols stays. In May 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) issued detailed guidelines banning PoP idols, which are said to be the cause of pollution in water bodies. The BMC has decided to completely ban PoP idols from next year.

4 Feet
Permitted length of household Ganesh idols

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