VISAKHAPATNAM: The idols of Lord Ganesha are being prepared with Plaster of Paris (PoP) and colour chemicals, across the state, ignoring requests from environmental organisations.
After Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, these PoP idols will be immersed into the water bodies just like every year during Visarjan.
Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has failed to curb the use of PoP and chemical colours in making the Ganesh idols. The Board officials have issued certain guidelines to safeguard the environment, but they could not restrict the usage of PoP idols in the state. They seek government intervention to put a ban on them.
APPCB chief environmental engineer A. Ramchand has assured to initiate a massive campaign against the purchase of PoP idols. Few days ahead of the festival, he wants to create awareness among the public about the environmental pollution caused from PoP and chemical colours when immersed into the water bodies.
As the artisans continue making big Ganesh idols using PoP, Vizag-based environmentalists are worried about their installation in pandals. J.V. Ratnam, a green activist, said: “Most of the Pandal organisers prefer to buy attractive PoP idols at a higher cost. They don’t bother about the environmental impact.”
“The immersion of PoP idols not only causes beach pollution but also results in mass death of marine animals. After a few days of Visarjan, thousands of dead turtles and fishes will be washed ashore. The city beaches turn horrible with broken idols, remains of coconuts and other puja material along the coastline,” he said.
When asked about the preventive measures, APPCB Environmental Engineer R. Lakshminarayana said that the Board will shortly discuss the issue with Visakhapatnam district collector. “Considering the environmental hazards, the state government shall make stringent rules against the PoP idols. We can only prepare the guidelines,” he said....