HYDERABAD: All efforts are on to make this Ganesh Chaturthi season eco friendly.

Natural dyes, made of plant extracts, which would be enough to paint two lakh small idols and 10,000 large ones, would be produced at a unit based in Rajendranagar, officials of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) said.

Around 30 tonnes of natural dyes (in more than 56 shades) would be produced at the unit which is the largest of its kind in India, PJTSAU officials said.

The dyes would be distributed to artists who prepare Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi to be celebrated in September.The dyes would be sold at Nampally Exhibition Grounds, College of Home Science, Saifabad, and PJTSAU Campus at Rajendranagar.

It may be noted that the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) has funded `1 crore for the project.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of PJTSAU, Dr V Praveen Rao, said that they have plans to distribute the dyes so that 30 per-cent of the idols in the city are produced from natural sources. “Over the next three to four years, we will cover all idols in Hyderabad,” Dr Praveen Rao said.

Dr A Sharada Devi, emeritus professor at PJTSAU, said that plaster of Paris is used in preparation of idols contains gypsum, sulphur, phosphorous and magnesium which are not biodegradable. She added artisans were initially reluctant in using the natural dyes as they expressed apprehensions of losing business as the dyes are not as attractive. “However, when we said if they would take it up if we bring orders, they agreed,” she said.

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