Coimbatore

Volunteers clean Selvachinthamani Tank

Environmentalist Foundation of India volunteers cleaningthe Selvachinthamani Tank in the city on Sunday.— Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

Environmentalist Foundation of India volunteers cleaningthe Selvachinthamani Tank in the city on Sunday.— Photo: S. Siva Saravanan  

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The volunteers gather the plastic waste, take it to a nearby bin from where the Coimbatore Corporation collects the waste to be taken to the Vellalore dump yard for processing.

On Sunday morning, a group of people was cleaning the over-300-acre Selvachinthamani Tank, off Perur Road. With gloves on, the volunteers were picking up waste from the dry bed that was near the periphery.

The group comprised volunteers from the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), says Sanjay Prasad G., its Coimbatore City coordinator.

The Foundation has been engaged in the cleaning operation for around two years now, on Sundays. Students, businessmen, working professionals and other enthusiasts spend around three hours from 7 a.m., picking up waste, mostly inorganic plastic waste.

On Fridays or Saturdays, the co-ordinator sends out messages to the group, the members of which confirm their participation. The number usually varies between 20 and 30, he says and adds that sometimes the EFI gets support from corporate companies.

As part of community participation work, city-based corporate houses’ employees turn up in 50 or 100 to lend a helping hand. This usually happens once in a month or two months.

The volunteers gather the plastic waste, take it to a nearby bin from where the Coimbatore Corporation collects the waste to be taken to the Vellalore dump yard for processing.

Most of the waste is plastic carry bags, sachets or plastic used to wrap food, says J. Antony, a volunteer. He has been with the team for over six months after moving in to the city from Chennai.

In the six months he has been here, he has seen a change in the attitude of people who live along the tank. Earlier, they just dumped garbage, but now the residents of the area don’t dump plastic waste. And, whatever waste is in the vicinity, it is from the overflowing bins and passers by who fling waste in bags.

Mr. Prasad says that in the course of time a few local residents have alone joined their cleaning efforts. They also support the cleaning by storing their equipment.

Their objective is to clean as much as possible before the inflow of rainwater into the tank and work with the Coimbatore Corporation to arrest the flow of sewage.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 11:49:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/Volunteers-clean-Selvachinthamani-Tank/article14420250.ece

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