Staff Reporter

Municipality orders them to shift from banana leaves to plates

KOZHIKODE: The Vadakara municipality has asked its health standing committee to vigorously pursue its earlier decision to impose the use of plates instead of banana leaves in hotels in the municipal area.

The municipality council, at its meeting here on Tuesday, gave the green signal for action against hotels that use banana leaves to serve food. Edayath Sreedharan, health standing committee chairman, said that the municipality had asked the committee to take all necessary steps, including cancellation of licenses of hotels.

Mr. Sreedharan said that the municipality had taken a decision in the second week of September to ask hotels to use plates (excluding plastic plates) instead of banana leaves to serve food.

This decision was taken in view of the difficulty in treating waste at the trenching ground at Puthiyapp.

“More than 10,000 banana leaves find their way to the trenching ground daily from nearly 150 hotels in Vadakara, making it difficult to treat them,” pointed out Mr. Sreedharan.

But, the hotels in the area are facing a shortage of water to clean the plates. V.K. Sukumaran, secretary of the Vadakara Hotel Association, said that the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) provided water only once a week. “If we were provided with water at least two to three days a week, we could have used plates.,” he said.

Mr. Sukumaran noted that customers in Vadakara preferred to eat in banana leaves, unlike those in the city. “If we discontinue with banana leaves, we will lose these customers. Moreover, if hotel owners treat the banana leaf waste on their own premises the municipality cannot complain,” he said.

Another problem that the hotels face is the shortage of labourers.