‘Unacceptably high quantity of plastics found in drains’
At Monday’s Corporation Council meeting, Mayor S.M. Velusamy put forward a proposal asking officials to initiate stringent action against those who stock and sell plastic bags that are less than 40 microns.
The Council unanimously passed the resolution.
The reason, Mr. Velusamy cited, for the passage of the resolution was the unacceptably high quantity of plastics that was found in drains. “During the course of my visit to wards to supervise the mass cleaning campaigns, Corporation officials and I found out plastics posed the biggest challenge to waste management and that they choked the drains like no other objects.”
The Mayor also said that at almost all the places where the residents complained about choked drains, the officials were able to find out that the reason was plastics along with other waste and earth blocking the flow of water.
And, plastics constituted the biggest chunk of all the solid waste removed from drains. At many places, the removal of plastics ensured that the sewerage system was well-equipped to handle the flow of sewage and that the Corporation need not invest in new drains, as thought of prior to cleaning.
Corporation Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy said that the Corporation had been initiating action against plastic traders at frequent intervals.
In the current financial year alone, the officials had seized around 2,000 kg bags, which were being sent to road contractors to be mixed with bitumen to lay plastic roads.
He said that the civic body, soon after the State Government notified the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling), Rule, 2011 for selling plastic bags, had called for a meeting with plastic manufacturers and sellers to ensure that they complied with norms.
As per the rule, those shopkeepers packing goods using plastic covers should ensure that the covers contained the name of the manufacturer.
The civic body had also asked manufacturers to ensure that the covers had their labels.
Last financial year, soon after the notification of the order, the Corporation action ensured that the officials seized nearly 5,000 kg plastic bags.
Corporation sources said that the officials concerned with checking the selling of plastic bags had lost steam as they had been burdened with other work.
And, there had been a lack of conviction from senior officials.
They hoped that the new push from the Mayor would bring back the focus on controlling plastic wastes.
The Corporation collects nearly 800 tonnes wastes a day from the 100 wards and around 60 per cent of if it is plastic.