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Made in Madurai                

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Madurai's Tourist Places to become Plastic Free Zone - Collector U Sagayam's initiative

The local civic administration of Madurai is all set to enforce a ban on the use of non-recyclable and non-biodegradable plastic products at major tourist places in the city, which is considered one of the oldest inhabitated cities in India.

Madurai is home to Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple as well as other famed tourist places such as Kallazhagar Temple, Thiruparankunram and Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, and attracts a large number of visitors every day. The tourists are most often responsible for littering these places with plastic products and other garbage material thus contributing to the dirty look of the city.

The ban has been enforced to eradicate the menace which will help the city sport a much cleaner look. “Plastic products were banned in Alagarkovil in January, this year. We are expanding it to other places as well while insisting on strict enforcement in places already banned," said Collector U Sagayam.

The civic administration hopes to replace the use of plastic bags with paper. In the first phase of the ban, plastic bags of less than 20 micron and plastic tumblers will be banned, whereupon public awareness will also be created to dissuade people from using and littering the roads and pavements with plastic garbage.

The initiate of the Madurai civic administration is being actively supported by environmentalist, according to whom the ban of plastic products is quite welcome considering its ill effects on the environment. Plastic prevents percolation of rainwater in the ground, chokes the drainage system, and is often the death cause of cattle and other animals who may feed on plastic. Also hot food items packed in plastic bags is considered harmful for human beings.

Apart from enforcing the ban in Madurai, the civic administration has also planned to extend the same in surrounding rural areas of the district. The larger idea is to create at least five model villages in each union that are devoid of polluting plastic products, untouchability, child labour and tobacco.

Shopkeepers in the city have already been issued advance warning for the same. Any shopkeeper found to be selling plastic bags of less than 20 micron will be penalized for an amount of Rs. 300. However the Plastic Products Manufacturers' Association in Madurai have appealed that the officials enforce the ban judiciously and not indiscriminately. With reference to such similar bans in other places such as Kanyakumari, officials have often been known to raid outlets and penalize shopkeepers, even when the plastic bag confirm to their standards.

Madurai, the third largest city in Tamil Nadu is closely situated to the Periyar Tiger Reserve and Periyar Dam. The entire city is laid out in the form of a lotus with its core centre being the Meenkashi Sundareswarar Temple and the city is built around it in the form of concentric circles.

Sourced from Rang Seven Dot Com.



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