3 Lakh Ganesha idols over 5ft for this year's festival

Immersion to coincide with Milad un Nabi, Sept. 28

HYDERABAD: Ganesh Chaturthi, one of Hyderabad’s favourite festivals, will this year see the installation of over three lakh idols taller than five feet across the commissionerates, with ministers also holding a meeting to direct officials concerned to ensure smooth conduct of the festivities.

While the festival falls on September 19, the idol immersion is on September 28.

In a bid to control pollution, the government instructed the Pollution Control Board to distribute 1.3 lakh clay idols. With the immersion day coinciding with the Muslim festival of Milad un Nabi, ministers expressed confidence in brotherly love being extended, appreciating the ‘Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb’.

In a high-level meeting on Monday, ministers said that the festival this year will be a ‘grander-than-ever’ affair.

Animal husbandry minister T. Srinivas Yadav, home minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, minister Ch. Malla Reddy, Mayor Gadwal Vijayalakshmi, Deputy Mayor Mothe Srilatha Reddy, representatives of government departments, police, railway force, and Ganesh Samithi members held a meeting at the Dr Marri Chenna Reddy HRD Building in Jubilee Hills.

Minister Srinivas Yadav said, “During the BRS rule since Telangana was formed, the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi have turned grander affairs. All arrangements are taken care of by the state government. Food stalls can open through the night and people can move freely on all these nine days. No police permission is required to install a pandal.”

“RTC, Metro, and MMTS services will be provided for the convenience of devotees to witness the immersion. Railways authorities were also instructed to remove the height gauge at Ranigunj rail bridge,” he said.

Asked about planned restrictions on PoP (Plaster Of Paris) idols, the minister said: “People should be educated on the adverse effects of PoP pollution. The government is taking further steps to educate people.”

Representatives of the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi (BGUS), who attended the meeting, requested ministers to instruct the forest department to provide 21 varieties of leaves that are to be offered to the deity and also publish the puja procedures by the endowments department.

Dr Bhagwant Rao of the BGUS also urged for an exclusive Ganesh temple at the Secretariat.

Reminding ministers of the issues and subsequent clashes in the past between political leaders and BGUS members urged ministers to bring in stricter rules to curtail the installation of large flexes with politicians’ faces at popular idol installations.

Home Minister Mahmood Ali said, “Hyderabad, which is a mini India, is known for its brotherly culture. No country celebrates so many festivals as we do. The police department is striving day and night to provide a peaceful and secure atmosphere.”

When a BGUS member questioned the home minister on poor sewerage conditions, with many overflowing across the city, the minister instructed government officials to tour the city and get a clear picture to execute repairs.

They said that the Khairatabad and Balapur Ganesh idols are popular across the globe and that the festivities in Hyderabad are only second to Mumbai.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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