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Madras high court bans use of POP Ganesha idols

The Madras high court banned idols made of plaster of paris (POP) and, between 10pm and 6am, the use of high-decibel fireworks in Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.

The court also asked the state government to lay down guidelines for the temporary installation of idols for the celebrations of the festival this Friday.

The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar passed the directions while disposing of two PILs seeking that the court direct the state to take appropriate steps to regulate the celebrations.

“It is needless to mention that no idol can be installed except with permission from the police commissioner, and in compliance with the conditions imposed by the officer,” the bench said.

The court waned the authorities to ensure that the organisers of such events avoid using inflammable materials for construction of the temporary structures and obtain clearance of fire department upon inspection of all electrical equipment.

It is stated that the organisers of such functions should approach the department for temporary service connections and pay consumption charges for the same.

It is also stated that any unauthorised tapping would attract criminal cases.

The PILs claimed that despite strict directions , most of idols are made from plaster of paris and chemical colours are used to paint them.

Unless, use of such idols are strictly restricted , tons of toxic chemicals would pollute water bodies and cause severe damage to the environment.

They also pointed out that authorities have not restrained installation of idols near places of worship of other religions which might lead to communal unrest.

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