M A I N   N E W S

Immersion of Ganesh idols in sea banned
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, September 16
The organisers of ‘Ganesh chaturthi’ in this city are faced with an uphill task following a police directive and the Madras High Court order banning immersion in the sea, rivers and water bodies.

The Madras High Court has restrained the state government from permitting any organisation to take out processions carrying idols made of “plaster of Paris” or other toxic chemicals and immerse them in the sea, rivers and water sources.

Toxic paints and ‘plaster of Paris’ are said to cause marine mortality leading to massive pollution in the sea.

In an effort to prevent environmental pollution resulting from the immersion of thousands of Ganesha idols after Vinayaka Chathurthi on September 18, the police has refused permission to immerse them near the two city’s beaches, Marina and Elliot, this year.

The Madras High Court had last year ordered that no idols could be immersed in the sea as it resulted in environmental pollution and the police decided to enforce the order strictly this year.

A senior police official said, ‘‘We have spoken to the organisers and suggested that the size of the idols be restricted between 5 feet and 7 feet. We have also advised them not to use ‘plaster of Paris’ to make the idols.’’

Discussions were on to allow immersions at some alternative sites. But the organisers are not happy with the new directive and felt the order was too late as idol makers have already made hundreds of Ganeshas idols.


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