Mangaluru, July 27, 2017: Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has categorically directed people to use only colour-less clay Ganesh idols during the ensuing festival and immerse them in areas notified by the local body concerned.
It has directed not to make idols using plaster of Paris (PoP) and paint and asked the Deputy Commissioners to initiate criminal action against those violating the direction.
The board held a meeting of its senior officials from the regional and district offices wherein officials were asked to launch awareness programmes about the use of only clay idols for celebrating eco-friendly Ganesh festival.
Local bodies should take steps to collect wet waste such as plantain tree trunks, and flowers during idol immersion either in mobile tanks or other notified water bodies, the board said.
In a release, the board said that it banned the use of plaster of Paris for making Ganesh idols and the use of paints on the idols on July 20, 2016 under Section 33 of The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
The decision was the outcome of extensive studies carried out in water bodies after idol immersion and a direction from the National Green Tribunal, the board said.
It was conclusively found that plaster of Paris idols with chemical paints had indeed been polluting water bodies thereby endangering several aqua fauna.
The board has directed local bodies in the State to inspect idols in their jurisdictions. If plaster of Paris idols are found, they should be confiscated and destroyed at landfill sites of the local body concerned.
It has also asked Deputy Commissioners to give directions to personnel at border check-posts of different departments to check whether plaster of Paris idols were entering the State from other states and put a stop to them, the DCs need to implement the norms strongly.