Mumbai News: BJP Opposes Ban On POP For Ganesh Idols, Citing Economic Impact On Idol Makers

Mumbai News: BJP Opposes Ban On POP For Ganesh Idols, Citing Economic Impact On Idol Makers

The members of the Akhil Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti (Maharashtra) were a part of the delegation.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 01:45 AM IST
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Mumbai New: BJP Opposes Ban On POP For Ganesh Idols, Citing Economic Impact On Idol Makers | Salman Ansari

The city unit of the BJP has opposed ‘indiscriminate restriction’ on the use of plaster of paris (PoP) for making Ganesh idols for the upcoming festival. A delegation led by the Mumbai president of the party and MLA Ashish Shelar called on deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and opposed restrictions on the use of PoP without finding an alternative raw material to make the idols.

Shelar informed Fadnavis that there is no objection to the use of ‘Shadu’ soil (which is eco-friendly) but imposing an indiscriminate ban on the use of PoP across Maharashtra will adversely affect idol makers who are likely to remain unemployed and the huge demand for idols will not be met.

“The government needs to look keenly into this industry that has a huge financial turnover and find a viable solution to ensure that the environmental balance is well-maintained and at the same time the demand for idols is also met,” Shelar reasoned.

He pointed out that the festival was only a couple of months away and to impose a blanket ban at this juncture would hit the idol-making industry hard. He said lakhs of people are dependent on this industry and any restriction on the use of PoP would impact them badly. He said the BJP was as much concerned about environmental issues as anyone else. At the same time, the livelihood of lakhs of people has got to be factored in while taking any decision, he said.

Pen taluka in Raigad district and its surrounding area is considered as a hub of Ganesha idol makers. The work of making idols right from sizes ranging from six inches to 12 feet in height is carried out in the houses throughout the year. There are almost 1,600 such undertakings in this area. The annual business is more than Rs250 to Rs300 crore with almost 3.00 crore to 3.25 crore idols getting made every year.

Of these, 1.25 crore idols are sent to six different states including Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra and Tamil Nadu. Additionally, there are similar manufacturing units in Mumbai, Thane and other places across the state with a huge turnover.

“If PoP is banned outright, it will cause an economic impact. Idols will not be available causing trouble to people during Ganeshotsav. For the same concern, our delegation requested the deputy CM to find a viable solution, which will ensure that the environment is protected and the business is also not affected,” Shelar said.

The members of the Akhil Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti (Maharashtra) were a part of the delegation.

Meanwhile, the BJP has suggested the formation of Maharashtra Rajya Dahihandi Govinda Association so that the Dahihandi festival and the various adventure games associated with it are carried out on a bigger scale. This issue was also taken up by Shelar during his interaction with Fadnavis.

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