TODAY -

Anti-Plastic and Zero Garbage Campaign

Naocha *



Three cheers to the recent goodwill initiative taken up Anti-plastic campaigners' group, "Blue and Green". Back-up and support from various sections of society, organization, NGOs shows the awareness of the health hazardous and dreadful consequences of using plastic. As we all know that regular and prolonged dependence on plastic by the common people pushed the plastic items one of the most polluting agent destabilizing the ecological balance of nature as confirmed in the reports of various scientific research papers.

In order to cap the further deterioration of the mother Earth with abuse of plastic stuff in day to day living, voluntary awareness as well campaign by some section of goodwill citizen against the use plastic bags, is not enough to go green on the whole for any society. Overall participation by the mass both politically and socially, is the only ultimate step to check use of plastic.

As a campaign towards 'Earth Go Green', in the long term prospect initiatives and effective laws needs to be implemented towards anti-plastic policy by consulting, comments and views from various expertise including environmental scientists. Success stories of the initiatives taken up by local Govt. of Shimla, Manali and Chandigarh in the northern India, in checking use of plastic bags and zero tolerance to garbage are worth enough to respect the Mother Earth.

Blue and Green's Anti-plastic campaign
Picture Credit :: Deepak Shijagurumayum


In Shimla, Manali and specially at Mall Roads, and in Chandigarh, use of plastic bags is completely banned, and if in any case, use of plastic items, is a punishable offence with hefty fine.

Zero tolerance to garbage is another appreciating character of these cities. As experienced practically, you will not find a single shop packing your purchased item with plastic or polythene bag or ice-cream vendor won't allow to litter even the small lid of ice-cream cover roadside fearing a hefty amount of Rs. 500/- fine that can be impounded by closely watch sentinels of the city. That is final rule/law of the cities. You will not find a single waste in every corners streets of the cities.

The basic rules of civic sense is clearly notified in various public places. Any city goers or visiting tourists can easily see the Notice Board at all key points accessible to public. Surprisingly, the city's civic rules and regulation are strictly followed by local people so also the tourists visiting the cities.

No doubt that garbage/waste disposal facilities are made readily available to the public in a well hygienic manner. Infact, cleanliness drive as well ability to make the people aware in these example cities respecting and preserving the eco system are worth deserving to emulate so as to free the our city from plastic bags, used plastic bottle container of drinking water, beverages, garbage, etc.

Effective implementation of law by the local government for correct use of plastic by the common people needs to address the following issues:
(i) Use of plastic for packaging of household grocery items in wholesale as well as retail shops, Mall, shopping complex, show room, in public places, various markets, etc should be banned completely at one go. Strict rule/law declaring use of plastic is punishable offence should be implemented immediately. Hefty amount of fine against use of plastic in public places should be imposed effectively.

(ii) In the long term prospect Effective law to stop manufacturing plastic items specially polythene bags at first hand by the small scale Plastic industries. Besides, in order not to affect such small scale industries, these industries may be given some buffer time to switch over to other durable essential plastic items like water tank, wire cables, vantilators, electrical fitting items, roofing materials, foot duster, pen, comb, button, zip, etc.

(iii) Motivate the general public to substitute plastic bags by used papers, newspaper, recycled paper bags, cheap and durable shopping bags from bio-degradable organic products of various plants and trees like jute, leaves, fibres, etc need to be encouraged through various media and voluntary public campaign. In this context, development of sustainable Micro industries to produce recycled and safe paper carry bags, etc needs to be encouraged and financial support from local Govt. to run such industries. Helpful hand of private companies/enterprises and back up by advertising agencies is very essential to create awareness amongst the general public.

(iv) Public awareness campaign through various media both electronic and the fourth estate not to use plastic bags on daily doze basis is very essential. Toxic character of Plastic items being non-degradable polymer compounds needs to be highlighted through media as it block the chain of natural balancing mechanism of eco-system.

(v) All institutions from grassroot level should impart mandatory programmes and co-curricular activities towards anti-plastic campaign as part of their learning programme awarded by special bonus %age points for such activities in a calendar year. This will create an awareness amongst the people swiftly and will pave the way for next generation to make the city more cleaner.

(vi) All local voluntary organizations, clubs should join hands to exert pressure on the local Govt. to implement the above criteria successfully for cleaner city as well as to create awareness amongst various leikai level at the last. Once, we check use of plastic in the city, it will have snowball effect to other districts and communities.

Even chewing up some of the hot issues mentioned above need strong Political Will as well as full support from every quarters of the society. The fourth estate and electronic media need to play a pivotal role to wake up the sleeping local Govt. and the public to fulfill their duties towards anti-plastic campaign.

ZERO GARBAGE CAMPAIGN

The ethics of voluntary zero garbage campaign initiated by Ima market vendors of Nagamapal side of Imphal city should be set as benchmark to 'Go Green City'. What a local Govt. had never been dreamt of has been out shown by the daily bread earners i.e. Ima Vendors by setting up self imposing rules and regulation to discipline other vendors to follow the suit or to pay fine if not go by the rules set up.

Pictures of Nagamapal roads free from garbage (at e-pao.net homepage pictures) in view of successful implementation self imposed rules and regulations by Ima vendors collectively towards zero tolerance to garbage is an eye opener for the Local Govt.

Now it is the moral duty of the Local Govt. to upkeep the momentum of awareness of general public towards zero tolerance to Garbage by providing uninterrupted technical support in the mechanism of cleaning up, dumping, and removal of garbage from the heart of city. In this aspect, in order to develop a long term and efficient management of go green city policy, time is ripe enough for the Local Govt. to invite Express of Interest (EOI), on experimental basis by setting up a clear cut eligibility criteria, from interested renowned private enterprises which have capability to give performance guarantee to zero garbage green city by channelizing turnkey option through the eligible private party showing EOI.

The EOI should also include provision of sufficient number of public lavatories and hygienic drinking water facilities around the cities in the form of 'pay and use' mechanisam. This is a must and foremost step to be taken up by the Local Govt. or State Govt. as whole in the backdrop of reaping maximum benefit from improving the quality of living, the tourism point of view and with realization of Look East Policy in the near future.

Since input cost in implementation of policy to 'Go Green City', which is for the welfare of general public, virtually passed on to the general public either in the form of maintenance fee of market area and leviable tax proportionate to size of area of the vendor plot, it is a win-win situation for the Local Govt. to take up the prudent steps to zero tolerance to garbage and any gravitational force of vested interest should not jeopardize the realization of go green city. Another alarming factor is disposal of untreated effluents from the micro as well as small scale industries and city dwellers in improper way which directly maim the basic purpose of go green city campaign.

Here again, setting up of effluent treatment plant now become a prime importance at this juncture of positive filled scenario which can also be bracketed under the lense of EOI. Only treated effluents should be allowed to release in the streams and rivers. By breaking all civic norms, the imported casual labourers/coolie from outside Manipur are using the bank of Nambul and Imphal rivers as open toilet either in the early morning or at the evening all over the radius of Imphal city, and is still off the eyes of general public and the Local Govt. and remains still unchecked.

In fact residents of the city are the main culprits providing rent to those coolies without proper civic amenities. All the culprits going scot free should be either warned or penalized. In this aspect, strict rules and regulations for City dwellers for proper disposal of daily waste/effluents needs to be implemented on priority to check further polluting the rivers which run through the heart of the city.

Picture Gallery from BG campaign:




* Naocha contributes to e-pao.net for the first time . The writer can be contacted at naocha(at)rediffmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on September 30, 2010.




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