Not only will this year’s famous Ganesh idol of Khairatabad sport a new look but it will also be the most expensive. At Rs 80 lakh, the idol is set to be the costliest one in its 64 years of establishment. The idol works are nearing completion.
Originally pegged to be between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 60 lakh, the cost of production exceeded estimations due to increase in the price of materials. Speaking to Express, Khairatabad Ganesh Utsav Committee joint secretary Sandeep Raj said, “The material cost, including that of Plaster of Paris (PoP) have increased. The cost of iron, too, has rocketed.”
Around 35 tonnes of PoP, 22 tonnes of steel, 15 tonnes of clay and 500 litres of paint is being used to construct the mammoth 57-feet idol. Some of the materials are being brought in from other states. For instance, PoP is being procured from Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, wooden sticks from West Godavari district and clay from Mumbai — thus adding to the cost.
Around 150 artists are toiling day in and out for completing the Khairatabad Ganesh’s new look before August 10. Known as Saptamukha Kala Sarpa Maha Ganapati or the seven-headed Ganesha, this avatar of the Ganesha was chosen to bless devotees with a better future. Meanwhile, following GHMC’s direction to decrease the height of the idol in 2015, the Committee has been shrinking the size of the idol by one feet each year. This year it is going to be 57-feet tall.