The excise department has directed all its inspectors at the borders to take action to prevent the entry of vehicles carrying Plaster of Paris (PoP) Ganesh idols into the State.
"...the taluka in-charge concerned is hereby directed to inform officials at the check-post to prevent entry of vehicles carrying PoP idols and divert the same back to the source, failing which to hand over the vehicle to police authorities at the nearest police check-post/police station,” stated an order issued by Commissioner of Excise Narayan Gad to excise inspectors of Pernem, Bicholim and Sattari talukas.
The orders have been issued based on the correspondence from the office of the Department of Environment and Climate Change on July 19. The DoE&CC has requested excise department to check entry of vehicles entering the State carrying such idols during Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
The government has also banned immersion of PoP idols as these idols when immersed do not dissolve or disintegrate fast, thereby causing irreversible environmental effects on the riverine/coastal ecology or the ecosystem of any water body.
Last year too, the government had banned the import of PoP idols and many such Ganesh idols were sent back.
Ganesh idols from neighbouring areas such as Kolhapur, Sawantwadi, Pune in Maharashtra and Belagavi and Karwar are normally imported into Goa during Ganesh Chaturthi.
PoP idols are light in weight, have better colour finishing and have a better shine than the heavy traditional Goan idols made from clay.
Given the huge demand for idols which cannot by supplied by traditional Goan artisans, many PoP idols are brought in by some traders into Goa.