Environmental and animal welfare activist Amala Akkineni on Friday appealed for concerted steps to promote the usage of clay idols during the Vinayaka Chaturthi festivities to protect the water bodies in the city.

She inaugurated the clay Ganesha idol distribution by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) office here. She said, “It is not just HMDA or one such agency, but it is the responsibility of every citizen to strive towards this end.”

Amala Akkineni also appealed to the devotees to immerse idols locally instead of mass immersions in one lake. “Smaller idols can be immersed in a bucket of water and the clay used for gardening,” she suggested. Later, she handed over the clay idols to representatives of various resident welfare associations and also signed as a member of the Forum for a Clean Hussainsagar. HMDA Commissioner Neerabh Kumar Prasad said they were providing 30,300 clay idols at subsidised rates through a network of 25 distribution centres. Promotion of these eco-friendly idols was taken up as per the guidelines of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

HMDA Member (Environment) R.P. Khajuria said these clay idols would be available till Sunday at identified schools, colleges, parks and other convenient locations.

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