Stop use of plaster of Paris in idol making: Green panel to MP govt

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 19:05 IST
The NGT directed MP government to send instructions to all collectors to identify idols made of pop in their respective areas and destroy them. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT file)

Taking cognisance of reports that plaster of Paris was still being used for making idols, the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the Madhya Pradesh government to instruct collectors to stop such activities for curtailing water pollution.

The green tribunal gave the order while hearing a petition filed by environmentalist Subash Pandey.

At the end of festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja, immersion of idols add to pollution of water bodies as non-biodegradable materials and synthetic paints pose a threat to aquatic life and environment.

Pandey told HT that the tribunal also directed Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan to submit a compliance report within 15 days regarding implementation of the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for eco-friendly idol immersion.

Before fixing the next hearing on September 11, the tribunal directed the Madhya Pradesh government to ensure that no synthetic colours were used in idols.

Last year, Indore and other districts of Malwa and Nimar region had banned idols made of Plaster of Paris and chemical colours. Environment activists argue Plaster of Paris is non-biodegradable and, hence, it should not be used to make idols.

In response to guidelines issued by the Bombay high court for idol immersion, the CPCB had come up with set of guidelines in June, 2010.

The CPCB guidelines specify that idols should be made from natural materials as described in the holy scripts and traditional clay should be used for idol making instead of material such as Plaster of Paris.

Meanwhile, the State Pollution Control Board started a two-day eco-friendly idol making workshop here on Tuesday. The board officials have been writing to all district authorities, its regional offices and civic bodies for strict implementation of the CPCB guidelines regarding idol immersion.

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