The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has decided to file criminal cases against those who install chemically coloured Ganesh idols and pollute water bodies in and around the city during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations this year.
The idea behind this move is to conserve the tanks and lakes. The board is making special efforts to create awareness about reducing pollution levels during the festival time.
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board Chairman A S Sadashivaiah said they have decided to do everything to warn and educate people about it.
“With the board’s powers, we are allowed to book criminal cases against people who cause pollution. The BBMP is the authority to collect fines. If we do notice excessive amount of pollution of any kind being caused by any of the celebrations, we will not hesitate to bring these eco-offenders to book,” he said.
The Pollution Control Board has also appointed a number of teams to conduct awareness campaigns in residential areas, schools and certain commercial complexes.
“In our branch offices, we will place a model Ganesh stage made with only organic materials. This should prove to be an ideal example for people to reduce pollution levels,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Forests, Environment and Ecology too held a meeting with various NGOs and activists on Tuesday.
“The agenda was to discuss the plan of action to reduce waste generated in the form of flowers and various offerings by educating people and coordinating with Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, BBMP, Law and Order police and BESCOM,” said Shivakumar Hosamani, activist, Samarpana, an NGO.
Meanwhile, the BBMP has decided to take up the matter with its Lake Development Authority (LDA) too to discuss the matter in detail.
Every year, thousands of organisations and individual groups install Ganesh idols and immerse them in the lakes and mobile tanks provided by the civic agency in different parts of the city.