PUNE: Despite the ban, thermocol and plastic decorations and makhars are on sale in the city market for the Ganpati festival, which will start on September 13.
Harish Jalan, President of Thermocol Sajavat Sanghatana told Sakal Times that even after several requests to the State government and Supreme Court, they did not receive any relief from the ban on thermocol. “Now producers of thermocol makhars and decorations have started selling them in retail and wholesale market. We make sure that the sold thermocol items are taken back by us and do not go into landfill or dumping areas and are recycled.”
During a spot visit to the market, some shops were seen selling thermocol decorations and makhars. Under condition of anonymity, a shopkeeper said, “There is no other option but to sell thermocol makhars and decorations. Also, there is a huge demand from public because they are cheap and look fancy.”
There were makhars made of plywood, foam, cloth and corrugated boxes as well. There were people outside shops who were taking orders from customers on making customised makhars and decorations. Another shopkeeper under condition of anonymity said, “Even we have kept thermocol decorations and makhars along with those made of foam, plywood, cloth and corrugated boxes. Ninety per cent of the people were asking for makhars made from thermocol. This is because the alternatives to thermocol are expensive and do not get the perfect look.”
Jalan said this year the government should have allowed the sale of thermocol products because the items which have been already made for this year’s Ganpati festival will go waste and it will be a loss for the craftsmen too. The craftsmen have already started working on decorations of foam, wood and corrugated boxes long before the ban. However, after March 2019 the alternative to the thermocol will be seen in the market, he added.