Mumbai: At a meeting with the umbrella body of Ganesh mandals across the city, the BMC has decided to allow use of plastic for ‘aagman’ and ‘visarjan’ in order to shield idols from rain. The members of the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) on Thursday met BMC officials and voiced their demands and suggestions.
Naresh Dahibavkar, president, BSGSS, said that the civic body has agreed to cover the idols with plastic and underscored no punitive action will be taken. “If there is rain during the aagman (arrival) of Ganpati, there is no alternative to plastic, especially since the idols are made of shadu maati (clay). They have agreed to it,” he said. However, the mandals have to ensure that prasad (offerings) is not served to devotees in plastic bags and that it is wrapped in butter paper instead. The organisers should also ensure that cloth or paper bags are used to hand over mementoes, etc.
Nidhi Choudhari, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (special), in-charge of the plastic ban, said, “We explained the High Court order and the need to ban thermocol and plastic items for decorations during the festival. We have also urged them to be torch-bearers in the crusade and, hopefully, the mandals will follow suit.” Ganpati mandals have been demanding a relaxation in the thermocol ban for Ganpati decorations this season, which was junked by the high court.