The government of Telangana is likely to move the Supreme Court challenging Telangana High Court order banning immersion of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris in Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad.
With the High Court on Monday refusing to modify its order, the state government is likely to file an appeal in the apex court.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao discussed the situation created by the High Court order with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, municipal administration secretary Arvind Kumar and other top officials late on Monday.
The meeting reportedly decided to challenge the High Court order keeping in view the sentiments of devotees and the problems faced in implementing the ban on immersion of idols made of PoP in Hussain Sagar.
The High Court on Monday dismissed the revision petition filed by the state government to allow immersion of PoP idols in the lake.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar made it clear that it cannot permit water pollution by allowing immersion of PoP idols.
“You created a situation of impossibility, now solve it. We cannot grant permission to people to pollute Hussain Sagar,” the bench said.
The court also refused to allow immersion into Hussain Sagar from Tank Bund road saying the huge amount of taxpayers’ money spent by the government to beautify the stretch will be wasted.
The bench also asked the authorities whether they implement the laws or violate them.
The review petition was filed by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) commissioner Lokesh Kumar.
The petitioner had mentioned that if the immersion was not allowed from Tank Bund, it may take up to six days for immersion of thousands of idols brought to the lake.
While refusing to modify its order, the High Court had stated that if the government doesn’t like its order, it can challenge the same in the higher court.
With less than a week to go for the immersion, the High Court order has landed the authorities in a dilemma.
A state minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav stated that by the time the high court delivered its decision on immersion of PoP idols, 35,000 Ganesh idols had already been installed at various locations in Hyderabad and it was not possible for the government to make alternative arrangements by constructing special ponds at such short time.
He said lakhs of people are likely to participate in the immersion procession across the city and all arrangements were being made for peaceful and safe immersion.
Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi (BGUS) has opposed any curbs on immersion in Hussain Sagar.
The organisers of the annual immersion procession called the court order a violation of the right to freedom of religion.
Its leaders have threatened that if authorities stop them from immersing the idols in Hussain Sagar, they will leave the trucks with idols on roads.
The Samithi wants the government to file an appeal in the Supreme Court to ensure that ‘Hindu sentiments’ are protected and the festival is carried out in keeping with the traditions.
The court had pronounced orders on a contempt petition filed by advocate Mamidi Venu Madhav for not implementing the court’s orders in the writ petition filed by him seeking a direction to restrain people from immersing idols made of plaster of Paris in Hussain Sagar lake.
The 10-day long Ganesh festival began on September 10. The festivities will conclude on September 19 with immersion.
Every year thousands of idols are immersed in Hussain Sagar. Huge idols are brought to the lake in a mammoth procession which starts from Balapur on the city outskirts.
NGOs, environmental activists and eminent citizens have been voicing concern over the pollution in the lake and demanding curbs on immersion.