Hyderabad: The Telangana government’s eco-friendly drive to distribute ‘Seed Ganesha’ idols this year has run into stiff resistance from the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi, which has, opposed the idea of immersing clay Ganesha in pots or small enclosures. Its members have also questioned the restrictions placed on the festivities this year.
A statement from Dr. Bhagwanth Rao, general secretary of BGUC said, “It is against our culture, tradition, and culture. It is advisable to plant a seed in and around the mandap and thereby promote greenery and environment. As per the traditions, immersion has to be done only in natural waters like rivers and tanks, but not in buckets and tubs as suggested by the government.”
Earlier this month, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) J. Santosh Kumar and state Forest and Environment Minister A. Indrakiran Reddy formally unveiled a Neem seed-embedded clay Ganesh idol. The state government on Monday (August 17) also banned the procession and the immersion of Ganesha idols due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The centralized immersion procession of Lord Ganesha at the end of the 11-day festivities is one of the biggest annual events of the city and draws thousands of visitors. Bhagwant Rao also stated that there is no need to seek permission from the police for installation of the idols, and added that “mere intimation to the local police station is enough,”, at a press conference on 18 August.
He insisted that Ganesh pandals could be erected in apartments, gated communities, functional halls, and bastis where COVID-19 cases have not spread. Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 22, but the ongoing crisis restricted all the festivities. The popular Ganesh idol at Khairtabad, which stood 61-feet tall last year, will only be nine-feet this time. Every year, the Khairtabad pandal attracts thousands of devotees across the state.