Ganesha idols during the Ganesh Chaturthi this time in Rajasthan would be made of clay rather than of Plaster of Paris(PoP). During the Vinayak Chaturthi, also called the Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most popular festivals in Rajasthan, people adorn their houses with new idols of Lord Ganesha.
The switch over to clay from PoP has been necessitated after an order issued by the Rajasthan Government on this Tuesday prohibiting the making of PoP Ganesha idols in the State. The Government order directed that that PoP idols should be replaced by clay idols in order to reduce environmental hazards. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 25 across India. It is estimated that there would be 10,000 idols of Lord Ganesha made of PoP for sale in the capital alone during the festival.
The Department of Local Self Government (LSG) has directed all the Divisional Commissioners, District Collectors and local bodies to ensure that Ganesha idols made of traditional clay only was sold in the market. The order referred to National Green Tribunal's (NGT) directive that says clay idols should be used instead of PoP to save the environment.
"The size of the idols should also be as per the specifications of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). No idol can be made up of Plaster of Paris. This leads to degradation of the environment," stated the order. In the CPCB guidelines for idol immersion, the use of toxic and non-bio degradable chemical dyes for painting idols is strictly prohibited.
Devotees immerse idols of gods and goddesses during the festivals, leaving the water bodies contaminated with PoP.The NGT has also ordered for immediate seizure and destruction of idols made of (POP) and other non-bio degradable idols.eom