BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has announced imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 10,000 as punishment for those who immerse coloured or plaster of Paris Ganesha idols in tanks or lakes in the state.
Harmful chemicals from the idols have been killing fishes and other aquatic animals. A senior official, who did not wish to be named, said in spite of organising awareness campaigns, people continue to pollute water bodies this way.
The board has now banned the immersion of idols to protect the aquatic ecosystem.
The notice issued by the KSPCB said water samples were collected from various tanks in the city and tested. The results revealed shocking levels of harmful chemical pollutants that, when ingested by fishes, birds and other animals, cause poisoning and death. This has also affected public health.
The local body is responsible for implementing the ban and take the assistance of the Police Department. More awareness should be created through TV and other media, the notice said.
At check posts, authorities attached to excise, forest, mines, transport and police departments must check import of such idols from other states into Karnataka. The local body should also cancel the licences and initiate legal action against shop owners who make or sell these idols, it added.