A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, is scheduled on Thursday to hear an urgent plea by the Commissioner, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), to stay a September 9 order of the Telangana High Court banning the immersion of Ganesha idols made of plaster-of-Paris (PoP) in the Hussainsagar lake in the city.
The High Court had passed the order to prevent the pollution caused to the major water body in the city, especially from synthetic paints on the idols.
However, the municipal body has argued that the unexpected ban on the immersion of PoP idols would hit thousands of artisans hard. Besides, arrangements for the celebration were already well under way and the GHMC had taken precautions, including positioning cranes to pull out the idols from the lake within hours of their immersion. The local body sought an exemption from the High Court’s order for this year’s immersion celebrations, due in three days on September 18. It said the High Court order would be fully complied with from next year.
“The idols will be removed within 24 hours of immersion. They will be transported to solid waste dumping sites. The GHMC has also created 25 baby ponds and also distributed 50,000 small environment-friendly clay Ganesha idols…” the petition filed through advocate Venkat Reddy said.
It said the preparations for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival began in March.