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Hyderabad: With artisans turning busy making idols for Ganesh Chaturthi festivities that commence on August 31, efforts have been initiated by the city administration to promote eco-friendly idols and dissuade the ones made of Plaster of Paris and with synthetic colours.

As part of the exercise to encourage idols that do not add to the pollution of water bodies on immersion, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has decided to set an example by installing clay Ganesh idols at key locations apart from the premises of its zonal and circle offices.

Popularising clay idols

Also, details of clay idol makers in the city with their contact numbers will be displayed near the idols. The idea behind the move is to widely disseminate information about artisans making eco-friendly Ganesha idols for citizens and those setting up pandals.

While a Ganesh idol made out of clay was installed at GHMC LB Nagar zonal office on Tuesday, Secunderabad zonal office is expected to have an idol installed in the next couple of days.

With Ganesh Chaturthi festivities scheduled to commence on August 31, the civic body has decided to coordinate in advance, starting this month itself, with Ganesh pandals organisers and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and guide them towards eco-friendly idols. At the same time, the endeavour would also look at sensitizing idol makers too on the harm to the environment caused by PoP and synthetic colours.

Awareness camps

“With the help of RWAs, elected representatives and NGOs, we will organise awareness campaigns to discourage the use of idols made of Plaster of Paris,” a GHMC official said.

In addition to the GHMC, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) will also distribute clay idols ahead of the festival and the ones who make clay idols will also be encouraged by the State government.

This year Hussain Sagar and other water bodies where idols are immersed will be closely monitored, the official said, citing the High Court directions prohibiting the immersion of PoP idols in water bodies.

“Presently, we are working towards spreading awareness on harmful effects for water bodies on immersion of the PoP idols,” the official added.

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Author: Howard Caldwell