The Telangana High Court (HC,) on Monday, the 13th of September, refused to modify its order banning immersion of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) in Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad.
The court dismissed the revision petition filed by the state government to allow immersion of PoP idols in the lake. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar made it clear that it cannot permit water pollution by allowing immersion of PoP idols.
“You created a situation of impossibility, now solve it. We cannot grant permission to people to pollute Hussain Sagar,” the bench said.
“We respect religious sentiments, but there is no scripture that says that we should only pray to Lord Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris,” remarked the bench. It told the state government that if it doesn’t like its order, it can challenge the same before a higher court.
The bench also asked the authorities whether they implement laws or violate them.
The court reviewed the petition filed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner Mr. Lokesh Kumar to allow the immersion of PoP idols in Hussain Sagar. The municipal commissioner had also requested the high court to modify its order disallowing immersion of idols from the Tank Bund road.
The petitioner had mentioned that if immersion is not allowed from Tank Bund, it may take up to six days for the immersion of thousands of idols brought to the lake.
“The government has spent a large amount of taxpayers’ money to beautify Tank Bund. Will the immersion of Ganesha idols not cause damage to Tank Bund? Has the government not thought this through,” asked the bench.
Lokesh Kumar also wanted exemption from creating a rubber dam to confine immersion of idols in Hussain Sagar to a limited area. He assured the court that all the debris from the lake will be cleared within 24 hours after the immersion procession is completed.
It is to be noted , the Telangana Government urged the Telangana High Court’s to change it’s decision regarding Ganesh idol immersion in the Hussain Sagar.
On the 12th of September, Mr. Talasani Srinivas Yadav, the Telangana Minister for Animal Husbandry, addressed the media and expressed disappointment over the decision of the State HC over Ganesh idols immersion. Recently, during a court hearing, the Telangana HC ordered the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to ban plaster of paris (PoP,) in the Hussain Sagar, situated at Tank Bund, Hyderabad.
The Court reviewed a petition filed by an advocate, highlighting the pollution due to the PoP idols. The K. Chandrashekar Rao led Government decided to counter file a petition and urge to reverse the decision.
The TRS Government also agreed to consider the pollution situation and said, after the immersion, the State Government would clean Hussain Sagar.
Mr. Talasani Srinivas Yadav said, “As you are aware Ganesh idols have been put up in every nook and corner of the city… The Government has decided to file a review petition in the High Court (in the wake of the Court’s order.)” In addition, the Minister highlighted the timing of the order, which was just a day ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi, the 9th of September, and said, in this short time, it would be impossible to prepare artificial lakes as per Government orders. Therefore, this time the Court should allow, but from next year, the State Government would follow the directions and would make the necessary arrangements ahead of the festival.
The State Minister said, “There is no alternative for the purpose and the people are seeking a reprieve.” He further added, “We will make efforts from next year to follow the same.”
Meanwhile, the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration already started in the Telugu State, with joy amid the ongoing Wuhan virus situation.