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With Ganesh Chaturthi approaching, the maximum height of Ganesh idols is becoming a topic of debate in Hyderabad.

The Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi (BGUS) on Monday issued a statement claiming that idol immersions do not increase pollution in water bodies, adding that the police should not restrict the height of the idols.

The New Indian Express reported:

Addressing a press conference on Monday, BGUS General Secretary Bhagwanth Rao said that mandap organisers who have started installing idols are being summoned to the respective police stations and being ordered to install idols of smaller size. Bhagwanth Rao said that instead of creating bottlenecks for the organisers, the police should let the festival be celebrated in a religious manner.

The BGUS was also armed with an RTI reply from the pollution board of a study conducted on various water bodies across Hyderabad before and after the immersion of idols.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Mr S. Shashidhar, officer bearer of the Samithi said:

“The water quality report from the water bodies was sought by the committee through an RTI from the State Pollution Control Board. The Board has been conducting sample tests before, during and after the processions from 2011 to 2015. In all the lakes the major parameters of water quality, i.e. pH levels, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and heavy metals like zinc, copper, lead and chromium, haven’t seen any drastic change after immersion. Also, there is not much scope of immersions adding to the pollution as the idols are removed within hours after immersion. The state government and its agencies citing pollution due to immersion are incorrect and the reports are proof of it

The BGUS in its statement also quoted the Hyderabad High Court, which last month had advised that only upto 15-foot-tall Ganesh Idols should be installed, while adding that it was not compulsory and stated that self-regulation by the organizers was necessary.

The HC also suggested that the state should provide dustbins near the point of immersion for devotees to dispose of ‘puja’ materials than dumping them in the lake.