`Are you a toothless tiger': Telangana HC lambasts govt, PCB for not banning PoP idols

Telangana High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the state government for not implementing the directives of Central Pollution Control Board (PCB) to ban idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP).

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  8 Sep 2021 4:12 AM GMT
`Are you a toothless tiger: Telangana HC lambasts govt, PCB for not banning PoP idols

Hyderabad: Telangana High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the state government for not implementing the directives of Central Pollution Control Board (PCB) to ban idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP).

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramchandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar observed that the government did not seem to be serious in enforcing the rules, thereby causing pollution in the water bodies during the Ganesha Chaturthi festivities.

The court sought to know why the PCB was not acting despite having powers. "Are you a toothless tiger? Why are you not checking the pollution of Hussainsagar?" the court asked.

The court reserved its orders in a contempt case filed by advocate M Venumadhav against the GHMC Commissioner, Pollution Control Board and the Hyderabad Commissioner of Police for not implementing the court orders.

He had prayed for restraining people from immersing Ganesh idols made of PoP in Hussainsagar as the lake has already reached the highest level of pollution.

Reacting to the government's contention that it was educating people by issuing advisories to only use idols made of clay, Justice Rao observed that the authorities were bound to enforce the prevailing laws, statutes or rules.

When government counsel tried to explain that all measures to clean up water bodies were taken up immediately after the immersion, the court commented that they were doing it with public money. "You are not interested in implementing the rules, but spending taxpayers' money. It should be prevented," the bench said.

Citing the Central PCB rules, the acting CJ asked the government counsel if the State government had banned the use of PoP idols. When government counsel contended that idols made of PoP were not harmful to the environment, the bench made it clear that the CPCB had prohibited using such idols.

The Court also censured the state government and the Hyderabad Police Commissioner for not filing counter-affidavits on time. The bench observed that the Police Commissioner has no time to file the counter affidavit. The court said the government filed the counter today at 10.25 am.

"If this is the case, when should the court pass its orders, as the Ganesha festival commences on September 10? And when can the order be given wide publicity?" the court asked.

Referring to congregations and rallies on the day of immersion, long queues of vehicles towards Tank Bund, the court questioned the commissioners of the Hyderabad and surrounding commissionerates why they were not taking steps to divert immersions to other ponds, apart from Hussainsagar

The bench reserved its orders due to the non-filing of affidavits by the GHMC Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad. Both of them were supposed to appraise the court about the measures taken to restrain devotees from immersing the idols in the lake, and the security arrangements made by the Hyderabad City Police to restrain devotees from thronging Tank Bund.

Next Story
Share it