The Union environment ministry Friday deferred the ban on the use of Plaster of Paris (PoP), used for making idols, by one year. Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said a decision to postpone the ban by one year was taken to help artisans who have already made idols this year.
“The ban on PoP for the Ganesh idol has been postponed for one year. This will not harm those artisans who have already made their idols this year,” Javadekar tweeted Friday. Idol makers, however, were directed to avoid the use of chemicals and dyes as much as possible this year.
In an order dated May 13, the Central Pollution Control Board had banned the use of PoP, thermocol and single-use plastic to make or decorate idols, while promoting the use of eco-friendly materials. Already staring at losses after exports were hit due to lockdown since
March, several idol makers and artisans had requested the Centre and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to defer the ban.
Brihanmumbai Samanvay Ganeshotsav Sarvajanik Samiti (BSGSS), a umbrella body of Ganesh mandals in Mumbai, said an average of 11,000 large (sarvajanik) and 1.6 lakh household idols were made every year using PoP. Naresh Dahibhavkar, BSGSS president, said, “We welcome the Centre’s decision to ensure idol makers are not harmed during this tough period. We have also directed the mandals to have a meeting with their artisans and reduce the height of idols.”
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