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    Published On : Wed, Aug 29th, 2018

    Ganesh Festival : Inflated input costs worry idol makers, may trigger price rise

    Nagpur: Chitar Oli – a bustling spot in city’s crowded Mahal area, which once used to flourish with excitement of idol makers at the onset of every Ganesh festival, wears a dull look this year. This one of the most popular destinations for finding Ganesh idols in Nagpur appears to have come under the cloud of rising cost of raw material burdened with GST. This year the cost of raw material has witnessed a significant jump by almost 25-30%, triggering panic among hordes of idol makers.

    The rising prices simply translate into costly affair for both buyers and sellers.

    As the sculptors have pushed up their shifts to ready Ganesh idols before the festival kicks in, Nagpur Today took a tour of the area to get into the nerve of situation.

    Talking to NT, Anil Kalamandi, 22, an idol maker at Chitar Oli says, “This is our third generation into business and we have been facing a significant surge in prices especially from last year when GST came into force. The cost of the raw materials has gone by almost 30%, which affects sale.”

    Kalamandi family has been engaged in the business of making Ganpati idols for generations.

    Anil’s grandson who has just moved to family business told Nagpur Today, “The idols made here are entirely of clay. We do not use Plaster of Paris. But this year, the market is down certainly because of inflation. However like every year we have started preparation 2 months before the Ganesh festival, despite the increased input cost.”
    Other sculptors in the area told NT that the price hike is likely to make this year’s Ganesh festival a low key affair.

    “The prices of raw material like Plaster of Paris, steel, coir and colours have all gone up after GST. A huge portion of clay comes form Andhargon in Bhandara district. The inflated fuel prices have affected transportation charges, added with increased making cost.” said Rakesh Khokre (32) another idol maker in Chitar Oli.

    Khokre said they used to get orders from other states including Delhi. But this was the first time that not a single order from outside has been placed till date.

    The sculptors make idols with several different design with a set price range. Ram Kanhaiya, an idol maker informed that the three-feet idol that used to cost about Rs 5000-7000 has gone up to Rs 12000 now while the five feet one costs Rs 20,000.

    The bigger ones are being sold at prices ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.

    Meanwhile, idols for the most popular Ganpati mandals of Nagpur are already in the making. While Raje Bhosle has placed their order at a shop in Chitar Oli, idols for all other famous mandals in city including HB Tiwn, Hill Top, Nagpur Ka Raja etc are nearing completion. People from places like Wardha, Tumsar, Chandrapur, Gondia etc visit Chitar Oli to buy the idols. However with the rise in prices, it remains to been seen what the idol makers fetch in the current scenario.

    Shubham Nagdeve

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