N. Prasanth, Sub Collector and Sub Divisional Magistrate, Wayanad, has banned the use of all types of plastic materials inside all ecologically fragile tourist centres, especially those bordering forest lands in the district with effect from May 1, in an Order issued here on Monday.
The Sub Divisional Magistrate also directed the concerned panchayat officials to prohibit the use of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic bags which are less than8 x 15 inches in size and which do not confirm to the minimum thickness of 30 microns in their own jurisdiction.
The Sub Divisional Magistrate also directed the officials to erect sign boards in the tourist destinations on plastic ban and set up counters to collect the banned materials at the entry and exits of the destinations.
If plastic materials, especially water bottles, are taken into the tourist spots, entries shall be made in a register and it shall be confirmed during departure that it has not been left behind within the destination.
The charge officers of the destinations shall be held liable for any violation, he added.
An inquiry conducted by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate Court had revealed that indiscriminate and extensive use of non-degradable plastic carry bags and bottles was causing blockage of flow in water courses, making water bodies unfit for growth of life forms such as plants and micro organisms in the district
It was also reported that a deer was killed in Wayanad forest owing to the consumption of plastic carry bag a few weeks ago.
The Sub Divisional Magistrate court being convinced prima facie that the irresponsible keeping and disposal of such materials in the tourist spots is injurious to the health and physical comfort of the community, and that it poses a danger to the very existence of flora and fauna in those areas, issued the order invoking powers invested in it under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Orders under section 133(1) (b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 were issued on Monday and the concerned Managers of tourist locations have been given time until May 1 to fully implement the directions, he said.