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Fine, jail term in store for selling, buying PoP idols

KSPCB tells BBMP, police, transport officials to take action, book cases

Published: 07th August 2019 06:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2019 06:15 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: This festival, strictly make sure that the Gowri-Ganesha idols are eco-friendly, or be ready to pay a hefty fine, and even face prison. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on Tuesday issued a notification stating that it will penalise all those using Plaster of Paris idols. This includes both buyers and sellers. The KSPCB has also issued directions to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), police department and district administration to even cancel the trade licence of those selling PoP idols. The KSPCB has also issued directions that community idols should not be above five feet.

KSPCB chairman and MLA D Sudhakar told The New Indian Express that sufficient time and warnings have already been issued. According to Section 33-A of the Water Act of 1974, immersion of PoP idols in water bodies is an offence and it attracts a penalty which the KSPCB has the power to impose as per rule 4(1).

“So from this year on, we will exercise our powers as sufficient time has been given. Over the last two years, traders sought time saying that they have old stock and have to clear it. But now no more. We have also told the BBMP, police and transport officials to take action, book cases and refer them to us. We will penalise every one dealing with PoP idols with a penalty of `10,000 or imprison them for one year,” he said.

He said the matter was discussed with traders and all stake-holders who have agreed to this. “Directions have also been issued that community idols should not be above five feet. Traders and manufacturers had told us that clay idols more than five feet cannot be created. This time, the height limit will have to be maintained. Transport and police officials have been told to monitor check-posts and ensure that no PoP idols cross the border to Karnataka,” he said.

KSPCB officials held a meeting with BBMP and heads of district administration, transport and police departments on Tuesday to take stock of the ground reality and inform them of the notification.
Sudhakar said the firm decision has been taken after taking note of the pathetic condition of most of the water bodies in Karnataka, especially Bengaluru.

He added that large mobile immersion tanks were going to be stationed in areas across the state for people to immerse their idols. These tanks will accept only eco- friendly idols.



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