The Madras High Court on Thursday criticised the practice of idol immersion, saying that it pollutes the ecosystem and poses a threat to fish and birds. The court said it is "an illiterate attitude towards water that should be put to an end".

Justice S Vaidyanathan made the observations while hearing the bail pleas of two men who were charged with murder and arrested after a clash during a “Vinayaka Chaturthi” idol immersion festival last month.

The court conceded that enforcing every environmental law at every stage of idol-making is a Herculean task, but suggested that artificial ponds could be built in specific areas for the immersion of idols during the festive season.