Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj said here on Friday that the Government was seriously considering banning the use of plastic bags having a thickness of 20 microns or less in the jurisdiction of the Mangalore City Corporation.

“Concrete steps to this effect will be taken shortly,” he said at an interactive meeting on ‘Tourism development in Dakshina Kannada', organised by the recently constituted Mangalore Association of Travel Agents.

Mr. Ponnuraj said that plastic bags were causing problems in handling solid waste as they could not be recycled. The people were putting biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes in such plastic bags and dumping them into bins or throwing them into rivers. This had compounded the problem, he said.

Plastic bags had been banned in Kodgau to maintain sanitation and attract tourists, he said.

Earlier, a participant at the meeting highlighted the menace of plastic bags in the city and how they were spoiling the beaches. Even after cleaning the Panambur beach, plastic bags were re-appearing there as they were being carried into the sea by rivers.

Mr. Ponnuraj said that footpaths and drains along the concrete roads laid here recently would be in place in a year. The Deputy Commissioner said that the district administration had initiated steps towards declaring the areas around the thousand-pillar “basadi” (Jain temple) at Moodbidri as a protected heritage site. Once it was done, no modern structures would be allowed to be built in that area. Even the modern structures already built in between several other “basadis” would have to be reconstructed in traditional style. Certain rules would have to be modified for this purpose and the Moodbidri civic body would be taken into confidence for implementing it. It might take a few years to implement this proposal, he said.

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