The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) personnel, along with NCC cadets and NSS volunteers, on Saturday participated in a cleanliness drive as part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day.
Inaugurating the campaign, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said the locals too had a responsibility to maintain cleanliness around their houses and protect the environment.
Dumping of waste into canals and drains in rural and urban areas resulted in clogging of water bodies and led to water logging in the city during heavy rains.
Puducherry should be kept clean to attract international tourists and people should also cooperate with the authorities for effective waste disposal methods.
Mr. Narayanasamy said the government had planned to implement the Smart City project involving an outlay of ₹1,850 crore over a period of three years.
The project aimed to improve the quality of urban life and provide clean and sustainable environment to the residents. This included adequate and clean water supply, sanitation and solid waste management, housing for the poor and power supply. Earlier, Mr. Narayanasamy and Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy administered a pledge against dumping waste/litter on the beaches and to work towards clean beaches to the volunteers of NSS, NCC and members of the ICG. Mr. Narayanasamy picked up the debris strewn along the beach with volunteers and the Minister and other officials also took part in the drive. Deputy Inspector General S.C. Tyagi, Commander, Coast Guard, Puducherry, said the cleanliness initiative was an opportunity for the fishing community to demonstrate their desire for a clean marine eco system. He called upon fishermen to take the movement forward to ensure a garbage- free marine environment.
The ICG Station, Karaikal, also organised a cleanliness drive on the Karaikal beach and neighbouring fishing hamlets.
R. Kamalakannan, Minister for Education and Agriculture inaugurated the drive along with N. Somasundaram, Commandant, ICGS, Karaikal.
A large number of students and volunteers participated in the drive. They collected debris found along the beaches. The event focused on educating and empowering people to become part of the marine debris solution.
The volunteers cleaned seashores at Kalapet, Narambai and Veerampattinam. They collected litter such as clothes, fishing lines, waste nets, bottles, food wrappers, ropes, syringes, plastic bags, and others materials. The collected garbage was disposed of at dump yards of the local bodies concerned.