Despite HC ban, immersion of PoP idols in Hussain Sagar continues

Hyderabad: Despite the Telangana high court’s ban on the immersion of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris in the Hussain Sagar lake, residents of the city and officials have started to submerge idols in large natural water bodies, including the prohibited parts of Hussain Sagar.

The Hyderabad High Court’s order stated that while Tank Bund was not an acceptable option, the Hussain Sagar was open for immersions near the Sanjivaiah Park- Secretariat stretch. Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols were to be immersed only in the select baby ponds dug up in these pockets.

However, according to a report by The Times of India, most people were unaware of the order and despite officials withdrawing cranes (which would help place the idols in the water), devotees have been submerging their idols near the People’s Plaza. Further, the argument from people celebrating the festival is that their idols were purchased before the Court’s order came about.

The Telangana high court, on September 9, ruled against the immersion of Ganesh Idols made of PoP in the Hussain Sagar lake. The court directed the government, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and the police to strictly follow its orders.

However, GHMC Commissioner Lokesh Kumar filed a review petition asking the court to allow the immersion of PoP idols in the lake.

On September 13, the high court dismissed the revision petition and remarked that if “the order wasn’t liked, the respondents could approach the Supreme Court.”

The Bhaghyanagar Ganesh Utsava Samithi questioned the high court’s order last week. They stated that PoP idols were not harmful to the water and neither was it the court’s business to intervene in how religious ceremonies are to take place.

On Monday, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao discussed the High Court’s order with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, municipal administration secretary Arvind Kumar, and other top officials. The state government is likely to approach the Supreme Court to decide on the matter.