Updated: September 16, 2021 2:44:34 pm
The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the immersion of Ganesh idols made of plaster of paris in the Hussain Sagar lake this year after Telangana authorities assured that the idols will be lifted from the water using cranes immediately after a “symbolic immersion” and will be removed to disposal sites so as to minimise pollution.
A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Suraya Kant clarified that this is the last time it was allowing the same and that alternate preparations should be made from next year.
The court was hearing a plea against certain directions passed by the Telangana High Court disallowing the immersion of plaster of paris idols in the lake and calling upon the civic authorities to use baby ponds instead or separate areas which will not spread the pollution into the lake.
Appearing for the state authorities, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said some of the idols were tall and could not be immersed in shallow places. He also said that the directions coming in between the Vinayaka Chathurthi festival can cause hurdles and urged the court to make an exemption for this year due to the dearth of time. “This is only for this year. From next year, we will implement the order,” he said.
Mehta also pointed out that cranes will be on standby to remove the idols to the disposal site after a “symbolic immersion” in the lake.
CJI Ramana said what is happening is not a new phenomenon to Hyderabad. “This problem occurs every year. You should have taken steps”.
The Chief Justice pointed out that the lake used to be very polluted and lots of money was spent on it. “Every year if you allow this immersion, what is the use of spending all this money on its beautification”, he asked
He added that “unfortunately this is a recurring problem happening in Hyderabad” and that in spite of directions, the government has not done enough to make the process environment-friendly.
The bench said that discipline and cooperation of people was also needed to make it a success. The government should have prohibited the use of plaster of paris idols in the beginning itself, remarked the CJI.
The court also asked the state to file an affidavit showing compliance of the assurances given to it regarding the immersion.
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