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from daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Jul 28: Though Goa government has made its intention clear about their intention to ban sale of plaster of paris Ganesh idols in the state, the authorities are groping in darkness about its enforcement.

"There is no notification to ban the plaster of paris idols… There has to be some legal backing to enforce the ban," stated Nikhil Kumar, collector (North).

During BJP-led government's tenure, the Goa legislative assembly had adopted a resolution banning sale of such idols in the state. The ban was enforced during last Ganesh Chaturthi when vehicles carrying idols were stopped at the state border.

This time around, in the state legislative assembly, the industries minister Luizinho Faleiro, had expressed clear intentions to ban plaster of paris idols and encourage clay-made idols carved out by local artisans.

Collector (North) Kumar, who was asked to implement the ban, has sent back the file to the industries department raising certain queries. "How can we ban the idols? There is no notification or law in this regard. There was a resolution in the legislative assembly but it was not backed by notification of law," the collector said.

It was during BJP-led government's tenure, the Goa Handicraft corporation chaired by legislator Damodar Naik, had decided to do away with the polluting plaster of paris idols which are brought in large number in the state.

"Goa requires 40,000 to 50,000 Ganesh idols, which are worshipped during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Of these hardly 25,000 are clay-made and rest are of plaster of paris and brought from neighouring states," Damodar Naik stated.

He said that the consecutive government has failed to implement the ban. "Even this year, traders have already stocked the idols which they will be displaying as Chaturthi arrives," he said.

The state authorites, though intend to ban the idols, are still trying to get the grip of the situation as they cannot act without any notification.


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