Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court ordered authorities not to allow Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris to be immersed in the Hussain Sagar lake here on Thursday.
The court also placed restrictions on immersion and ordered authorities to construct a rubber dam and take other necessary measures to reduce pollution in the city’s central water body.
On Tuesday, a bench consisting of acting Chief Justice M. S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar issued the reserved orders.
The government, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), and the police were all ordered to obey the court’s orders.
The bench pronounced orders on a contempt petition filed by advocate Mamidi Venu Madhav for not implementing the court’s orders in the writ petition filed by him seeking a direction to restrain people from immersing idols made of plaster of Paris in Hussain Sagar lake.
The court ordered that immersion of idols made of paris should not be allowed in Hussain Sagar lake. It said such idols may be immersed in special ponds created for the purpose.
The court said instead of allowing immersion in the entire lake, the authorities should build a rubber dam to confine it to a limited area and after the immersion, the debris should be cleared.
It directed the authorities not to allow immersion of idols from Tank Bund. The immersion can be allowed from other sides like PV Marg, Necklace Road and Sanjeevaiah Park road.
The court also asked the authorities to take steps to make sure that devotees from far-off places don’t come to Hussain Sagar for immersion. They were directed to encourage immersion of idols locally and observed that devotees can immerse small idols in buckets at their homes.
The authorities were directed not to encourage idols made of materials harmful to the environment. The court also made it clear that authorities should not allow installation of idols on roads which block vehicular traffic.
During the celebrations, the court also imposed restrictions on cultural programmes. Loud speakers should not be used after 10 p.m., according to the report.
The court also demanded that authorities ensure that the Covid-19 protocol was followed during the festivities. The authorities were told to enforce social distancing and mask wearing.
On Friday, the 10-day Ganesh festival will begin. On September 19, the celebrations will come to a close with immersion.
Hundreds of idols are immersed in Hussain Sagar every year. Huge idols are carried to the lake in a massive procession that begins on the outskirts of the city at Balapur. NGOs, environmental activists, and prominent citizens have expressed concern about the lake’s pollution and have called for restrictions on immersion. (IANS)