MUMBAI: In one of the biggest environment- friendly measures, it has been decided to restrict the height of Ganesh idols to 18 feet.
This decision was taken following a joint meeting of the organisers of Ganesh festival and the idol-makers.
In Mumbai, over 12,000 local groups erect huge pandals to celebrate Ganesh festival and majority of the idols are over 22 feet tall. The famed Lalbaugcha Raja, whose devotees include the Bachchan family and leading politicians, boasts a height of 23 feet. The idol-makers were too glad to accept the decision as bigger idols would easily get damaged before they are immersed in water. Last year, a 22 feet Ganesh idol of Tejukaya Ganesh Mandal at Chinchpokli in central Mumbai collapsed before immersion.
Every year, thousands of Ganesh idols made of plaster of paris, which is non-soluble and non-biodegradable along with the toxic paints, are immersed into the water bodies of Mumbai.
Most of the idols end up in the sea along the western coast spanning from Girgaum Chowpatty to Juhu Chowpatty. Some years ago, a report indicated that about 1,000 idols made of 308.18 kg of plaster of paris and 172.69 kg of toxic paints are deposited into the sea bed.