Bengaluru: Months after discussions and negotiations, the KSPCB has now made it official that the sale of painted PoP Ganesha idols has been banned in the state from this year. While the Board sent reminders on Friday to all the Deputy Commissioners and Joint Commissioners to implement the notification, it hasn’t decided yet if shops will be raided or not.
The Board, leaving no stone unturned to curb import of idols from other states, has requested the commissioners to seize idols at all toll gates connecting Bengaluru. KSPCB chairman Lakshman said that although idol manufacturers had demanded that the ban should be implemented from this year, there was no question of giving anyone more time.
“The manufacturers claimed they had to clear last year’s stocks and wanted time for this. On assessing the number of available PoP idols in the state, we found that there were at least 1 lakh Ganesh idols left over from last year. Though the ban is being implemented in full force, we will go slowly on acting against violations since festivals are emotional issues,” Lakshman said.
He added that after a meeting with BBMP officials, the Board will decide if they should raid the stalls or not. “We need more men and the KSPCB alone can’t raid stalls in all the eight zones. Depending on their response, we will take action,” he maintained.
‘Kabali Ganesha’ trending
It’s not just a ‘suited up’ Rajani who created a craze this season! A ‘suited’ Ganesha wearing shades and smiling at his devotees is the most in-demand idol, says Mutturaj, a vendor on J.C Road. “Last year it was ‘Bahubali’ Ganesha which was in high demand. This year, following the success of Tamil movie ‘Kabali’ there’s a demand for Rajani-style Ganeshas. With 15 days to go, let’s see what new demands come up,” he maintained.
Vendors play safe
Meanwhile, idol vendors, who have taken full advantage of the lack of action so far, are rapidly setting up stalls across the city. While some are selling only mud idols just to be on the safe side, most vendors are selling both painted POP idols and mud idols in a bid to avoid seizing of shops. In areas in South Bengaluru like DVG Road, Katriguppe, Banashankari, Yediyur and Mavalli, vendors have already set up stalls, two weeks ahead of the festival.