Ganesh idols made of clay, taller than 9 feet and those built with Plaster of Paris (POP) that are taller than 5 feet are prohibited in Ahmedabad. According to a notice sent by the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner on Monday, it is also illegal to dispose of idols constructed of plaster of Paris in the city. The notification will apply from August 17 through September 15.
“A proper and set standard of height should be maintained in terms of the size of the idols built so that the process of immersion and traffic is smooth and free of law and order problems.” notification mentioned. It further stated, “The chemical dyes used in the idols’ creation and their discolouration in the water of rivers and lakes damage fishes, aquatic life, and people as well.”
Further, it advises maintaining cleanliness in the areas where idols are created or stored for sale. It forbids storing such idols on public property and keeping damaged idols around in an abandoned state. Toxic chemical colours that do not dissolve easily in water are also forbidden during the creation of these idols.
The warning further states that it is forbidden to create, purchase, or sell idols with any markings or symbols that offend religious sensibilities. No other path than the one designated by the permit may be utilised for the procession of any idol. The immersion should take place at the designated area. Notification clarifies the fact that only the cisterns built by the AMC are allowed for the immersion of the idols.
The order has disappointed idol creators, who claim that the notification was sent without their consent and a little too late. One of the sculptors in Gulbai Tekra stated that the idols are sculpted in all different sizes and are usually built with POP. Compared to the POP, the demand for clay idols is less. However, the orders for the idols have already been placed and it is impossible to stop the orders. The notice was sent late. He also claimed that chemical colours are more to be blamed for the pollution. To lessen river damage, they mostly use watercolours.
“The government should issue regulations while considering our way of life. And the time for this has passed. We would have discussed the issue with you, and you would have made a wise choice. Orders like this ought to be given in advance,” As per another artist.