The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has implemented a new regulation requiring household Ganesh idols to be made from shadu clay or other eco-friendly materials. The civic authorities have also instructed idol makers and stockists to seek prior permission from the local ward office before setting up temporary structures. Additionally, they must submit an undertaking to the BMC, committing to the creation and storage of idols made solely from clay or other environmentally friendly materials.
In line with the decision reached during a meeting with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on May 17, the BMC has issued guidelines for idol makers, stockists, and devotees regarding the celebration of Ganeshotsav this year. The assistant municipal commissioners of all 24 wards have been informed by the BMC to ensure compliance with the guidelines in their respective areas.
According to the guidelines, household Ganesh idols should not exceed 4 feet in height and should be crafted using shadu clay or other eco-friendly alternatives. It is mandatory to immerse all household Ganesh idols in artificial ponds. Moreover, the BMC has made it compulsory for idol makers and stockists to mark the backside of the right shoulder of Ganesh idols with a green circle to indicate eco-friendly materials and a red circle for Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) idols.
"A team from our ward office will inspect the premises of idol makers and stockists to verify the use of eco-friendly materials," stated a senior civic official. The BMC will provide free trial spaces on a first-come, first-served basis to idol makers who create eco-friendly idols. Additionally, shadu clay will be provided free of cost to idol makers, subject to availability.
Idol makers and stockists are required to inform the local ward office about the total number of idols they intend to produce this year. They must also provide details such as the height of the idols (up to 4 feet), the number of idols made from shadu or eco-friendly materials, and the number of P.O.P idols. In May 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) issued guidelines banning Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) idols due to their significant contribution to water pollution.