Ganesh Idols prices increase by 40% in AP; environmentalists caution against PoP

Workers from West Bengal and Rajasthan, who are skilled in making idols, have been giving final touches to Ganesh idols in Vizag and Vijayawada cities. Artisans said the cost of idols ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 80,000 depending on the height.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  24 Aug 2022 4:39 AM GMT
Ganesh Idols prices increase by 40% in AP; environmentalists caution against PoP

Paucity of skilled artisans and an increase in raw material prices have dampened the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities this year.

Though the government has withdrawn restrictions on Ganesh Pandals, the festival might be hard on the public given the price escalation by 40 to 50 percent.

Workers from West Bengal and Rajasthan, who are skilled in making idols, have been giving final touches to Ganesh idols in Vizag and Vijayawada cities. Artisans said the cost of idols ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 80,000 depending on the height.

"The steep rise in the cost of materials has pushed the prices of the idols," said Amit, an idol maker from West Bengal in Vizag city.

Ganesh Chaturthi festival will be celebrated on August 31, but the process of making idols began a few months ago. The main raw material for the Ganesh idols is Plaster of Paris of Clay, oils, and colors.

"We had installed a 12 feet height Ganesh idol in our locality in 2019 and it cost us Rs 20,000. Now, the cost of the 12 feet Ganesh idol is over Rs 45,000 and we will have to shell out the transport charges as well," said K Siva Kumar a resident of the One-Town area in Vizag city.

Around 2,500 Ganesh Pandals were erected in Vizag city. Besides, over 800 Ganesh Pandals were set up in Vijayawada city in 2019. Over 20 percent of the Ganesh idols had a height of between 20 ft and 35 ft.

What has aggravated the problem is that people prefer PoP idols over eco-friendly sculptures (clay idols) due to their low cost. Despite rising costs and appeal from various organizations, Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols are being manufactured across the state. It seems

Activists of various organizations said the manufacture and sale of PoP Ganesh idols continue in the state unabatedly. The failure is because of the laxity of the Pollution Control Board, Municipal Corporations, and Police. The enforcement authorities have been unable to crack the whip on the manufacturers, sellers, and organizers of the Ganesh pandals, they added.

"It looks like the Green Ganesha is a distant dream. Though the organizers of the Ganesh Pandals are much aware of the effects of PoP idols, they are still installing them. Had police and local bodies denied permission for PoP idol pandals, the menace would have been curbed," said Anil Kumar, an activist.

Various NGOs, organizations, and local authorities urge people against the use of PoP idols and their ill effects on the environment, particularly on water bodies

T Rajendra Reddy, Joint Chief Environmental Engineer, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), said that they have requested people to use eco-friendly idols.

"We have observed that PoP Ganesh idols are available in the markets. We will come up with clear instructions in a couple of days about the PoP idols," he added.

Clay idols are costlier and many feel that the PoP idols are more attractive. The availability of clay idols is low due to a shortage of raw material.

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