Union Shipping Minister and Mayor are scheduled to participate in the event

A 210-km-long stretch along the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast will be cleaned on Saturday, as part of the ‘International Coastal Cleanup Day' commemorated here by the Chennai branch of the Indian Maritime Foundation.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Rear Admiral (retired) K. R. Srinivasan, vice-president of the Chennai branch of the Foundation, said the clean-up drive, part of a global initiative, had three main objectives — to remove plastic and other waste from the coast; create awareness among students about the need to preserve and protect coasts and collect data on the kind of waste generated and found along different stretches of the coast.

“For instance, in Kasimedu, we can find a lot of fish discard. Similarly, there tends to be plastic waste along the beaches. We want to document such data, have some research taken up on the issue and then initiate some village or community level measures,” he added.

The campaign, to be taken up in 22 blocks along the 210-km stretch, would be conducted in accordance with global standards. Volunteers involved in the cleaning would be provided a “safety kit”, including gloves, masks, pickup stick, bio-degradable garbage bags provided by Biotec Bags. The garbage will also be segregated at source.

Commodore Rajan Vir, president of the Indian Maritime Foundation, said that last year about 18,000 volunteers took part in the drive across the country. Of these over 12,000 were from Tamil Nadu. “Tamil Nadu has been taking the lead in this drive. The idea is to involve as many people as possible and get them to be sea-minded,” he said.

During the campaign, volunteers would not only distribute pamphlets and spread the message on the need for a cleaner coast, but also help raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, the organisers said.

Union Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan and Mayor M. Subramanian are scheduled to participate in the event.