New Delhi [India], September 16 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the Telangana government to permit the immersion of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) in Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad, only this year.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said, "As a last chance we allow the state to use this lake for immersing the idols."
Telangana government told the Bench that Ganesh idols will be lifted immediately from the lake through cranes and it will only be a symbolic immersion.
"We heard that unfortunately, this is a recurrent problem in the city of Hyderabad and despite several directions of the court, the government has not complied with it and pollution is being caused to Hussain Sagar Lake," the Bench stated in its order.
The Bench took into the record the submission of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that all directions which were passed by the High court regarding immersion of PoP Ganesh idols in Hussain Sagar Lake will be implemented from next year and the idols immersed this year will be lifted with cranes immediately and transferred to the solid waste site.
"We direct the state to file an affidavit during the course of the day. Thus, as the last chance we allow the state to use this lake for immersing the idols," the Bench stated.
Greater Hyderabad Municipality Corporation (GHMC) had approached the top court challenging the Telangana High Court refusing to give permission for immersion of PoP Ganesh idols in Hussain Sagar Lake.
During the hearing, the Solicitor General appearing for the State told the apex court that High Court has declined immersion of PoP idols in Hussain Sagar Lake and doing this in-between celebration can post to be a hurdle.
"It is not a new problem, I know about this since I have been there. I know about the pollution in Hussain Sagar Lake and there is a drinking water problem. A lot of problems take place to beautify and maintain the lake. This happens every year so why weren't steps taken?" CJI asked Solicitor General.
Solicitor General said that this immersion will not happen from next year in line with Central Pollution Control Board guidelines, however, for this year there is no time for arrangements.
"Steps are being taken to minimise pollution and idols will be pulled out as soon as immersed and be taken to a solid waste disposal site," Mehta added.
He added that the government is not finding fault with directions of the High Court but between celebrations, it will be a hurdle.
"Lakhs of people will participate this year. Let us allow it this year since they are saying they will lift the idols immediately upon immersion. They will file an affidavit to this effect and also say that this will be a last chance to them. The discipline and cooperation of the people are also important," the top court observed during the hearing.
The High Court had said that it cannot permit pollution of water by allowing immersion of PoP idols.
The High court had also rejected a plea filed by the GHMC Commissioner seeking modification of its order.
The High Court had directed the government to allow immersion of PoP Ganesh idols in baby ponds already built by the GHMC or in separate ponds which do not result in water pollution in the main water body. (ANI)