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Municipal Corporation of Tirupati wins battle against plastic waste
- Since imposing a ban on use of plastic material on Oct 2, 2017, the municipal authorities have been able to bring down the use of plastic by more than 90%
- It is saving Rs 50 lakh which it had spent for clearing drains choked with plastic material
- People too are voluntarily going for bio-degradable material like paper, cloth or jute bags
Tirupati: Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) successfully implemented ban on plastic carry bags less than 40 microns of thickness for three years, saving Rs 50 lakh in terms of drainage maintenance cost in the city. The civic body imposed a ban on use of plastic bags on October 2, 2017, the Gandhi Jayanti.
Prior to the ban, the corporation used to face lot of problems and expenses to clear drainage network choked with plastic material, sanitary napkins, etc., The roads would be frequently flooded with sewerage, causing severe inconvenience to the public and a flood of complaint to the civic body.
Since the ban on plastic bags and other material, the municipal authorities held consultations with stakeholders and suggested alternative material like paper, cloth or jute bags by shop owners as well as people . They imposed huge fines on manufacturers, sellers of plastic bags and conducted raids often. Thus, they succeeded in implementing the ban by 70 per cent in the first year itself.
In the second year, the set a target of 90 per cent reduction in plastic usage and achieved it. Owing to official pressure and awareness, consumers too began environment-friendly bags.
In the third year, even traders stopped sale of plastic bags, glasses and other non-biodegradable material. Tiffin centres, hotels are using banana leaves for serving.
Chat shops and others are using paper boxes for packing food and other eatables. The present municipal commissioner, P S Girisha, insisted that the officials carry out raids to prevent usage of plastic material. Wherever he goes in the city, he consciously checks implementation of plastic ban by shops and advises businesses to use jute bags for business.
Before imposing the ban, MCT used to spend lakhs of rupees to clear drainage lines of plastic waste. Following the ban, the drainage overflow problems have come down drastically. According to sanitation officials, the plastic waste retrieved from sewage lines has reduced by five tonne a day in the last three years of plastic ban.
Not letting down their guard, civic officials are continuing to impose huge penalties on shop owners who have been using the plastic carry bags in some places.
Sources say, five per cent businesses are using plastic bags on the outskirts of the city in rural panchayats.