Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Will take our appeal to CM, say artisans firm on PoP

Civic body holds its ground on use of clay; idol makers say not possible as it’s too costly

An artisan works on a Ganesh idol. File pic/Ashish Raje

As the civic body remains firm on rules against the use of plaster of Paris for Ganesh idols, the city artisans have decided to knock on the doors of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for help. The idol makers stopped the work after the BMC recently issued a notice, prohibiting the use of plaster of Paris (PoP) and asking them to make only eco-friendly idols.

“We have asked other idol makers to stop taking bookings for a PoP idol. The BMC has sent us a notice and we are not getting a positive response from the authority on our request to use PoP. Therefore, we have decided to meet the chief minister on the issue, as it is difficult to make an idol with just clay in a short period,” Vasant Raje, one of the artisans, told mid-day.

“This year, 100 clay idols are not possible,” said Naresh Dahibavkar, president of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti. “We are in the process of arranging a meeting with the CM. The use of clay in making idols has increased in the past few years. However, it is not possible to make more than 2 lakh idols with just clay,” he added.

Dahibavkar said the idol makers have “stopped taking bookings and making PoP idols. It is not possible to make only clay idols. One clay idol is four times costlier than a PoP idol. Moreover, there are not enough karigars who can make clay idols,” said another artisan, Santosh Kambli. “We are waiting for the final decision, but still it is not possible to make clay idols this year,” he added further.

In May 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board issued detailed guidelines banning the use of PoP to make idols, saying it causes serious pollution in water bodies. The ban was postponed for a year after idol makers expressed fear of losing their livelihood. Two years later, finally, the BMC finally sent the notice for implementation of the rules. The idol makers in the city cater to more than 12,000 sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav mandals and the demand for over 2 lakh idols for home.

2 lakh
No. of Ganesh idols required for homes in city

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