While the City is all geared up for the grand fervour on September 9 to celebrate the Ganesha Chaturthi. There are certain rules to keep in mind. The list of rules and regulations are not only important to ensure that Namma Bangalore is clean, but also green. To reduce the piling up of waste near markets and water bodies, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike promote the usage of eco- friendly elephant god and have also issued some guidelines.

What is Eco- Ganesha?

An eco- friendly Ganesha is one which is made of raw earth (Sadhu clay) or plain clay which is not mixed with chemicals. It is just mud and water. They are totally eco- friendly.

On the other hand, there is another type of eco- friendly Ganesha, which is made of straw, husk, jute sacks and other raw materials. These type are not made here (in Karnataka, but brought by artisans from Mumbai), says Murthy.

According to a release issued by KSPCB, the attractive looking idols of Lord Ganapathi are ones which have synthetic colours used on them. These colours contain heavy metal, lead, chromium, manganese and many other harmful toxic chemicals which harm the environment. A two kilograms idol of lord Ganapathi painted with lead based paints leaks around two grams of lead into the water.

Large statues of Ganapathi are made of Plaster of Paris which most of the times is contaminated with asbestos which leaks into the environment. Asbestos is considered to be a carcinogenic substance. Thus it is advisable to use small statues measuring around 12-14 inches, which are made of clay. However, it is advisable to use uncoloured idols, because after the idol is decorated the absence of colour will not be noticed.

Further, if citizens want to use colour, they should ensure to use organic, vegetable colours or natural dyes. The glossy colours should be avoided as they have heavy metal contents in them. The KSPCB also requests citizens, not to immerse the large idols. Rather re-use or exchange them with the ones for the next year. And for immersion, a representative small idol can be used.

KSPCB also appeals to people not to immerse idols and dispose puja articles into drinking water bodies like wells, ponds, lakes and so on. Usage of crackers and loudspeakers is prohibited from 10pm to 6am. Residents are requested to immerse the idols of their homes in a bucket of water to avoid rush on the streets and kalyanis.

Citizens can visit KSPCB’s FACEBOOK PAGE for details.

Some tips of eco- Ganesha-

Raja, proprietor of a Ganesha shop which makes and sells eco-friendly Ganesha idols says:  making of clay idols starts 3-4 months before the festival, as it takes that much time for the clay to dry up and get hard. But dissolving the idol does not take long. Depending upon the size it could take either two hours or a maximum of two days. Thus many a times those who buy eco- Ganeshas, would be slightly moist.

He adds that while making large idols plaster of Paris is used because if its made of only clay it could break. The price range for an eco- Ganesha ranges from Rs 100 (for an uncoloured one) to Rs 5000 (for a big coloured Ganesha measuring upto 3-4 feet). The maximum height which can be attainted for a eco- Ganesha is four feet.

He points that the best way to identify a non eco-friendly Ganesha (made of Plaster of Paris) is that it is very light to carry and has bright colours on it. While one made with clay is heavy and will have a slight dull appearance. The eco- Ganesha would also not have a fancy appearance, they would be simple and earthy looking.