Extensive drive from January 1: Mayor K. Chandrika

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has forwarded the City Corporation’s request for the implementation of an executive order to impose a strict ban on the use of plastic carry bags to Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali, Mayor K. Chandrika has said.

“The letter was sent over a week ago. We do not know whether such a reform can be expected in the near future. So, we are focussing on mass awareness programmes, urging the public not to use plastic bags,” said the Mayor. On Saturday morning, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis inaugurated a campaign on these lines at Gandhi Park here.

The day’s programmes were set to be carried out by close to 1,000 squads fanning out in all wards in the Corporation limits. These squads, meant to be led by ward councillors and Samrakshana Samithis – formed two months ago – were to visit homes and shops. They were supposed to approach people carrying plastic bags and exchange them with cloth bags. However, health standing committee chairperson of the Corporation, S. Pushpalatha said the activities were carried out in full strength only at the Chala market, where 500 cloth bags were distributed among shoppers and traders.

“Many dispersed to join protests held across the city, following the passing away of the Delhi gang-rape victim. At the Corporation too, there was a memorial service in the afternoon,” she said, adding that the campaign against plastic was just beginning and extensive drives would be held from January 1, 2013. She also said that a two-day training programme would be held at the Kannammoola tailoring unit of Kudumbasree next week. More centres will follow, she added.At 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, the Mayor will distribute cloth bags among traders at Palayam market here, said a press release issued by the civic body. On Monday morning, she will address the students of the Karthika Tirunal Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Manacaud.