Supreme Court allows immersion of Ganesh idols in Hyderabad lake
Hyderabad: As a one time measure, the Supreme Court on Thursday permitted immersion of Ganesha idols in the Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad city, after Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrations, on September 18.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana passed the order on a petition filed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The civic body had approached the top court against the September 9 order of the Telangana high court, banning the immersion of Ganesha idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) in the lake.
While allowing the symbolic immersion, the bench emphasised that the state government ought to have taken steps to stop water pollution caused due to immersion of PoP idols on its own.
“Once upon a time, the water in the lake was used for drinking. That time passed long ago. Now, I believe, a lot of money was spent on beautification... If the water is polluted again, won’t it be a waste of the money spent on the beautification?” the bench, which also included justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, asked solicitor general Tushar Mehta.
Mehta, appearing for the civic body and the state government, argued that the HC order was well-intentioned but was passed in the middle of the celebrations. He assured the bench that there would be symbolic immersion of the idols which will be removed by the government through cranes deployed at the site and will be transported to solid waste dumping sites within 24 hours.
Granting the relaxation to the state government for “one last time,” the bench observed that it was not supporting the government by staying the high court order but was acting on an assurance that there would be no immersion of PoP idols from next year. The court also took note that the high court order was passed when the celebrations were on and it would not be possible for the state government to implement all the directions immediately.
The bench then stayed the high court order while asking the civic body and the state government to file their affidavits with assurances on stopping the immersion from next year.