Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday appealed to people to opt for eco-friendly ways of celebrating festivals while appointing a committee of experts to suggest the green options to the popular ways of celebrating Ganesh festival.
Eco-friendly festivals need of the hour: CM Shinde
“Eco-friendly festivals are the need of the hour. It is good that awareness about it is increasing among people,” Shinde said.
Shinde, who addressed a meeting of federation of Ganeshotsav mandals and Ganesh idol makers from Mumbai and Konkan region, said the committee under the chief secretary of the state will have principal secretaries from water resources, rural development, environment, urban development and law and judiciary departments as its members along with Member Secretary of the pollution control board, experts like Dr Sharad Kale, Ajay Deshpande and members from IIT, Mumbai and NEERI.
The CM also directed the administrators of the BMC and other local bodies to ensure a single window approach in granting various permissions for the idol makers. He also directed the officials that adequate space be made available to them. Shinde further directed the officials to return the pendal fees charged from the Ganeshotsav mandals in the past since it was waived last year.
Balance of ecology needs to be maintained while celebrating festivals: CM Shinde
Shinde said that while the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Supreme Court (SC) have ruled in favour of eco-friendly festivals, such measures need to be unfolded in a phased manner. He also expressed pleasure that the numbers of idol immersion in artificial lakes were increasing also use of clay as well as paper pulp idols was growing. He added that the balance of ecology needs to be maintained even while ensuring that the festivals are celebrated in full fanfair and withou losing their sanctity.
Shinde advised the officials to increase the number of artificial lakes for idol immersion.
He also told the members of federations of ganeshotsav mandals that the government has lifted the restrictions on hight of idols and now it is their responsibility to celebrate the festival in a responsible manner.
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