Scheme to assist artisans for making clay Ganesh idols

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Panaji, Aug 4 (UNI) Goa government has for the first time come out with a scheme to assist registered artisans for making Ganesh idols with eco-friendly clay material instead of Plaster of Paris (POP), during the festival season.

Disclosing this to media persons after the Cabinet had approved the proposal, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said each registered artisan would be paid Rs 100 as subsidy per idol upto a maximum of 150 idols.

Each idol should have a height not less than one feet to be entitled for the financial assistance, which he said, was to discourage artisans from using the harmful POP.

The government, has at the sametime, banned manufacture, distribution and sale of the idols made of POP through a notification under section 5 of the Ebnvironment Protection Act and instructed all the departments to monitor the situation.

Thousands of idols are sold every year during the festival season and most of them are imported from neighbouring Karnataka and Maharashtra to cope with the demand.

The Cabinet had also decided to continue the scheme of supplying essential commodities including vegetables through six vans in 36 rural areas at subsidised prices every week, in view of the festive season.

''The scheme evoked gold response benefitting at least 15,000 people. The government is releasing a minimum of Rs 12 lakh subsidy per week,'' Mr Kamat added.

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