Panchayat to impose fine on those selling plastics below 30 microns.

Vandiperiyar grama panchayat is intent on cutting down the use of plastic in the panchayat area with the active participation of merchants' associations and the public, with effect from October 2.

The ban on plastics is the culmination of a two-month public campaign and meetings held with the stakeholders. The ban will be implemented with the support of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) with which six wards of the panchayat share borders.

The panchayat committee will impose a fine of Rs.500 on those who sell plastic bottles, glasses and carry bags that are below 30 microns. A fine of Rs.100 will be imposed on those found carrying the banned items.

Panchayat president G.Vijayanand told The Hindu on Friday that a public joint effort group participated by 10,000 families in the 23 wards would collect plastic waste in the first phase. The collection would be monitored by the respective ward members.

The plastic collected will be brought in the estate vehicles to the dump yard and an agreement has been made with agents from Tamil Nadu to sort the items and collect them on time.

Banners announcing the ban have come up already and campaigns through the estate areas have started in the panchayat.

The preliminary campaign included announcements at places of religious worship and educational institutions. The panchayat's campaign received immense support as Vandiperiyar town is located on the banks of the Periyar river, which was highly polluted by plastics, affecting the quality and supply of drinking water in adjoining villages.

“There is nearly 40 years of plastic waste deposited just below the Vandiperiyar bridge and in the second phase of the project scheduled to begin in October, the stretch of the river along the converging portion of the Chottuparathodu will be cleared of plastic,” he said.

On Friday, as a finale to the campaign, four rallies were taken out in different areas by hundreds of students. Pamphlets were distributed through the heads of educational institutions and the PTR officials took classes at various camps with the support of Kudumbasree members and non-governmental organisations. Mr. Vijayananda said that those who came to the panchayat area from outside would also have to follow the ban order.

Keywords: plastic ban

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