HUBBALLI: Ganesha idols made of plaster of Paris (PoP) will not be allowed this year, asserted Deepa Cholan.
Addressing a meeting with all Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava mandals, idol makers, artists and others here on Monday, Cholan said the district administration will ensure strict implementation of the ban on PoP and chemical-based Ganesha idols in the district.

“Mandals which have already placed orders for should cancel them and install environment friendly idols,” she said.

There is a provision to impose a fine up to Rs 10,000 along with simple imprisonment, under the law. If anyone violates the ban, they will face stern action, she warned.

To simplify the process of getting permission from civic authorities, police and Hescom, a single window system will be introduced in both Hubballi and Dharwad where Mandals can obtain permission within two days after furnishing all necessary documents, she said.

‘Do not play with environment’

DCP Renuka Sukumar appealed to people not to play with the environment, adding that loud speakers over 65 decibels will not be allowed. Police will book suo motu cases against anyone who violates the rules, said Renuka.

When corporator Ganesh Tagargunti appealed to the district administration to give a chance to Mandals who have already booked PoP idols, many of the people present at the meeting opposed the suggestion.

Balakrishna Suryavanshi, an artist, vented his ire against the authorities for not implementing the ban on PoP idols.

“We have been hearing about the ban since four years, but authorities never implemented it. Because of this attitude, many artists who sell eco-friendly idols are stuck in two minds. If it continues this year too, we will not attend next year’s meeting,” he said.

Mayor Sudhir Saraf, deputy mayor Menaka Hurali, commissioner Shakeel Ahemad, ACP H K Pathan, former MLC Mohan Limbikai, Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Mahamandal president Shrishailappa Shettar and others were present at the meeting.

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