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File criminal cases against PoP idol manufacturers: Karnataka Environment Minister Khandre to KSPCB

Ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, state Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre Tuesday directed Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) officials to strictly enforce the ban on the sale of idols made from Plaster of Paris (PoP).

The minister held a virtual meeting with KSPCB officials across the state.

“PoP idols are insoluble in water and they are hazardous as well. According to the guidelines dated May 12, 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has banned the manufacturing and stocking of PoP idols. The use of chemical paints on idols is also banned. So, the sale and manufacturing of PoP idols should be strictly prohibited,” Khandre said.

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The minister directed the KSPCB to file criminal cases against idol manufacturers found violating the directives.

Also Read | Karnataka environment minister calls for shut down of illegal Plaster of Paris idol manufacturing unit

“If PoP and chemically-coloured Ganesha idols are immersed in lakes, rivers, streams, and wells, heavy metals like lead, nickel, and chromium will pollute the water. Also, PoP remains undissolved and results in the death of aquatic life. Livestock drinking this water will also die. People will get sick too. Therefore, it is imperative to ban the sale, manufacturing, and distribution of PoP Ganesha idols in the public interest and for protecting community health,” Khandre added.

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In August, an idol manufacturing unit in Kengeri was shut down after it was found to be manufacturing Ganesha idols made of PoP.

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