Khammam: Pandal organisers continue to favour PoP Ganesh idols

Only 0.1 per cent idols made of clay; campaign remains only on paper.

Khammam: Shifting to clay idols instead of Plaster of Paris (PoP) to protect water bodies as well as the environment during Ganesh Chaturthi has remained as a slogan only.

Tons of PoP containing in thousands of Ganesh idols are being readied this year. According to one estimate, about 12,000 tons of PoP in the form of idols will be immersed in water this year.

Reportedly, of all the idols made, only 0.1 percent are being made in clay. So far, 3,050 Ganesh Festival Committees have registered with the police in the limits of the Khammam Municipal Corporation.

Surprisingly, all the idols except for six were made with PoP. In Paloncha, a major municipality in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, there 2,065 idols registered with the police, but not a single one has been made of clay.
Only small idols are made in clay, with little or no effort being made to make bigger idols in clay.

G. Narasimha Rao, a correspondent said, “Idol makers should be asked to make large-sized clay idols.

The makers should be supported with technical knowledge and other logistics. There is also a pre-conceived mindset that needs to change. They should be made aware of the dangers of PoP and the harm it causes to the environment.”

The clay idols are only one out of 1,034 idols in Yellandu Municipality followed by Madhira where there are only two idols against 1,190 PoP idols.

The police have evolved a route map on the transport of idols for immersion. The idols placed in Bhadrachalam and surrounding areas will be immersed in the River Godavari.

The people of the five mandals—Nelakondapalli, Tirumalayapalem, Kusumanchi, Mudigonda and Khammam rural were asked to submerge the idols in Palair reservoir and the idols to be placed in Khammam Municipal Corporation limits will go to Munner river.

There is an allegation against the non-governmental organisations that instead of actually educating the public on using clay idols for worship, they are just conducting photo session programs with clay idols purely for personal publicity.

The role of Khammam Municipal Corporation has also been faulted for not checking the rampant making of PoP idols in different colonies.

Meanwhile, even amongst the PoP idols, the government restriction is of maximum 12 feet, but many Ganeshas have been built with height over 15 feet.

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