The Madras High Court has directed the Collectors of Dindigul, Coimbatore and The Nilgiris to keep strict vigil at the entry points to Kodaikanal and Udhagamandalam and ensure that banned use-and-throw plastic products do not get into the hill stations. It also ordered installation of plastic shredders at the check points and sufficient number of drinking water dispensers for the benefit of tourists.
Passing interim orders on a batch of writ petitions, a Bench of Justices V. Bharathidasan and N. Sathish Kumar directed the Dindigul Collector to file a report by March 11 detailing the manpower and infrastructure provided on Batlagundu and Palani Ghat Roads, which were entry points to reach Kodaikanal, for seizing and destroying banned plastic products.
The court also wanted to know the quantity of banned plastic products seized so far. The Collector was further ordered to conduct a personal inspection at Kodaikanal and ensure strict implementation of the ban. He must also ascertain the number of drinking water dispensers installed in the hill station, the number of them in working condition and report to the court.
In so far as Coimbatore district is concerned, the Bench directed the Collector to hold a personal inspection of the check points not only on Coonnor Road and Kothagiri Road but also on Karamadai-Manjoor Road, a third ghat road leading to Udhagamandalam, and ensure that adequate infrastructure and manpower was provided to seize banned plastic products.
The Collector (in-charge) of The Nilgiris was directed to conduct a survey and file a report on the number of drinking water dispensers required to be installed in the district. The judges also asked the officials to explore the possibility of involving non-governmental organisations and industrial establishments in the movement against plastics through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) schemes.
They further wanted to know by the next hearing as to whether any private firm in the country would be interested in installing plastic collection machines which would dispense money for depositing used plastic bottles.