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Efforts stepped up to tackle plastic menace

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Big catch: Municipal officials displaying seized plastic items in Udhagamandalam on Tuesday.
Big catch: Municipal officials displaying seized plastic items in Udhagamandalam on Tuesday.

D. Radhakrishnan

‘The problem may worsen during the coming tourist season’

Udhagamandalam: Concerned over the ban on disposable plastic items being increasingly observed in the breach in this hill station, the district and civic administrations have started cracking down on violators.

Pointing out that despite the ban and the ecological problems confronting this town complaints relating to the easy availability of carry bags and other items like cups and plates were mounting, the Municipal Commissioner S. Ramamoorthy told The Hindu here on Tuesday that with the summer tourist season round the corner it was feared that the problem would reach alarming proportions.

Since respect for the ban was conspicuous by its absence and certain sections of the trading community were responsible for the sorry state of affairs, officials have been instructed to conduct raids frequently, particularly inside the municipal market.

During a raid conducted in some parts of the town including the market on Monday by a team led by the Municipal Health Officer K.Poonkodi, banned plastic items were found in fourteen shops. The items weighing about thirty kilograms were seized and a fine of Rs.5400 was imposed on the violators.

Stating that the main violators were those selling fruits, meat and vegetables, he said that it has been decided to put up warning boards in front of such shops. Regretting that carry bags were being given even to those who were reluctant to be seen with them, he said that boards requesting the public to bring their own bags would also be put up inside the market.

Manufacturers of items like edible oil who supply their products in plastic bags have been requested to dispense with them while booking consignments to Udhagamandalam.

Pointing out that the discarding of plastic bottles in various parts of the town, especially by the tourists, was becoming another major problem, Mr. Ramamoorthy hoped that non-governmental organisations will extend a helping hand to the municipality in creating awareness among the people about the harm caused by such bottles. He added that efforts would also be made to promote civic consciousness among the elected representatives.

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