Goa Government today said it would form flying squads and keep an eagle eye on the state’s borders to stop Plaster of Paris Ganesh idols from coming into the state for sale ahead of the Ganesh festival next month.
“The ban on PoP idols in the state would be strictly implemented during the Ganesh Chaturthi this year. Adequate measures are planned, alongwith other departments, to ensure that these idols are not sold in the state,” Environment Minister Rajendra Arlekar said, speaking to reporters.
PoP idols are banned in Goa since 2008. Only clay idols are allowed as they do not contain toxic chemicals and dissolve in water fast.
His department would keep a strict watch on the borders with Maharashtra and Karnataka ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi and form flying inspection squads for this, the minister said.
Environment Department would join hands with State Pollution Control Board, Excise, Commercial Tax Departments and police to keep PoP idols out, he said.
PoP idols are banned as they are not environment-friendly and do not dissolve in water after immersion, thus hurting the religious sentiments, Arlekar said.
He however conceded that the ban is not taken seriously and PoP idols were found to be flooding the market last year.
The ten-day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival would be celebrated from September 5.