The Telangana High Court on Monday denied permission for the immersion of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) in Hussain Sagar lake, Hyderabad. It also criticised the Telangana Ganesh Murti Kalakar Welfare Association for challenging the the Pollution Control Board's guidelines prohibiting PoP idols.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice NV Shravan Kumar, issued orders to Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand and civic authorities to ensure that no PoP idols are immersed in the water body. The court also instructed the government, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), and the police to rigorously enforce its directives and take necessary measures to combat pollution in Hussain Sagar lake.
Questioning the actions of GHMC, Chief Justice Aradhe cited press reports and ordered an explanation for disregarding the court's directives.
According to Live Law, Chief Justice Aradhe and Justice NV Shravan Kumar came down heavily on the Telangana Ganesh Murti Kalakar Welfare Association and made an oral remark, saying, "This lake is not for you; it is for generations, not to be polluted with Plaster of Paris."
When the petitioner requested additional time stating that they had received a copy of the counter only three days ago, the court reportedly responded, "So you are not concerned with immersion? Then why are you bothered?... you don't say anything, we are granting you time... We don't need your permission for the protection of the environment."
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has established 72 'baby ponds' across the city, allowing immersion only in these designated areas. Senior Counsel and Government Pleader Harender Pershad assured the Court that the order would be communicated to the authorities, emphasising the need for meticulous compliance. The court instructed Senior Counsel Pershad to promptly convey the order to the authorities and file a compliance report by the next hearing date.