With Ganesh Chaturdhi round the corner, the twin cities are gearing up for the 11-day carnival that grabs eyeballs for reasons galore. However, 'water pollution' caused during the festivities has been the talk of the town for years now. The government and several
NGOs are, as usual, leaving no stone unturned to promote 'eco-friendly Ganesh'.
Around 23,000 idols would be consecrated this year in the twin cities and the number might shoot up, according to Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi. While the government and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) are believed to be offering incentives to artists in using natural colors, NGOs like Forum for A Better
Hyderabad and Society for Awareness and Vision on Environment (SAVE) are advocating the use of natural materials like grass, clay and paper instead of plaster of paris and paints in making the idols.
"This year, we are planning to distribute for free some 50,000 eco-friendly (eight-inch for household pooja and five-foot for pandals) idols painted with natural colors, out of which 500 are non- colored clay models. The idols of smaller size are meant for the devotees to take home for the festival while the 500 bigger ones measuring above four feet will be distributed to pandals. Around 15-20 artists from West Bengal are working on these idols at NTR Gardens," informs Vijay Ram, an artist working with the SAVE.
Known for its huge dimensions, the around 45-46 foot Ganesh statue at Khairatabad this time will advocate 'world peace' with the Lord setting out his journey on Hamsavahanam and Pushpaka Vimanam. "Decked up more in natural colors instead of Nerolac Paints (lead-free though), our Ganesh is eco-friendly to a great deal this time," says S Sudarshan, Secretary, Khairatabad Ganesh Utsav Committee.
"We are left with some colors distributed by the government last year. With some more to be disseminated this year, the Ganesh idol is all set to wear a 'green' look. Our website - ganapathideva.org - keeps informing the public about the daily updates on making of the murat," tells Raj Kumar, Organizing Secretary.
When inquired about the hue and cry over pollution, vice-president of Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi Karodimal Narsingh Puria said, "Neither the paints nor the material used in making the idols are contributing to water pollution anymore. Now the HMDA is taking up the cleanup drive at Hussainsagar and other water bodies immediately after visarjan. Moreover, we are putting forth our best efforts in propagating 'Green Ganesh'. The rest is with the government to enlighten the public."
- The Pollution Control Board in association with Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University is organizing a workshop for artistes and Ganesh Utsav Committees on the use of natural colors for the idols.
Though the festival is ahead, the APPCB is inactive in taking up the necessary steps.