Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - Ye­sha Ko­tak

MUM­BAI: Ther­mo­col, or poly­styrene foam, can no longer be used for dec­o­ra­tions dur­ing Ganesh Chaturthi, the Bom­bay high court (HC) de­clared on Fri­day. The court was re­spond­ing to pe­ti­tion, filed by the Ther­mo­col Fabri­ca­tor and Dec­o­ra­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, which stated that a ther­mo­col ban would hit 40,000 jobs.

Dis­miss­ing the plea, the bench of Jus­tice AS Oka and Jus­tice RI Chagla said the ar­gu­ments made by the gov­ern­ment could not be ig­nored.

The state, dur­ing the hear­ing, pointed out that 1,200 tonnes of plas­tic waste is gen­er­ated each day and there is no proper sci­en­tific pro­vi­sion for the dis­posal of plas­tic and ther­mo­col.

“In our ear­lier or­der re­fus­ing to stay im­ple­men­ta­tion of man­u­fac­ture, sale and use of plas­tic and ther­mo­col, we had ob­served the court can­not ig­nore the ad­verse ef­fects of plas­tic waste on en­vi­ron­ment,” said Jus­tice Oka.

Idris Shayer, pe­ti­tioner, said, “As of now, 60-70% of the work in­volv­ing ther­mo­col has al­ready been done. Fol­low­ing this or­der, the un­fin­ished prod­ucts that will go un­sold will re­sult in a loss ₹25-30 crore.”

Naresh Dahibavkar, pres­i­dent, Bri­han­mum­bai Sar­va­janik Ganeshost­sav Sa­man­vay Samiti (BSGSS), said, “We wel­come the high court or­der and are aware that plas­tic and ther­mo­col are not good for the en­vi­ron­ment. The prob­lem is that the gov­ern­ment hasn’t come up with any other al­ter­na­tive ma­te­rial that can be used in­stead of ther­mo­col.”

Suresh Sawant, an artist who makes ther­mo­col mod­els of tem­ples, said, “We start the work six to seven months prior as the work is in­tri­cate. By Jan­uary, I had al­ready re­ceived or­ders from 200 man­dals.”

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