Dirtying Elliot’s beach? Pay fine

The Chennai corporation officials check the shops on a monthly basis to prevent the use of plastics.

Chennai: With nearly 72,100 kg plastic waste being dumped in Besant Nagar beach, which is considered to be one of the cleanest beaches in the city, daily, the civic authority is considering to impose a fine on the beach-goers who dump waste.

“From next month we will impose a fine on people who pollute the beach,” a senior corporation official said.

The Chennai corporation officials check the shops on a monthly basis to prevent the use of plastics.

The corporation committee formed last year consisting of an Assistant Engineer, Sanitary Inspector, License Inspector and Conservance Inspector. These officials raid the shops to check on unwholesome food, banned plastic and to create awareness.

“Every day 72,100 kg plastic wastes are collected from the beach,” says Paul Thangadurai, Adyar zonal officer. Once the election results are announced, the government will implement the Street Vending Act (2014) to regulate the shops on the beach, he said.

After the election, thecommittee would conduct meeting with shop-keepers at the beach regarding the act and explain the importance of plastic free environment.

According to the sanitary inspector the shops inside the beach are illegaland the license they hold are not local body license but food safety licenses.

“These shops will be regulated soon,” he said.

The government ban on plastics came into effect on January this year.

But the Elliot's beach continues to be a dumping yard for plastic products, including polythene carry bags, plastic plates, straws, and water or juice sachets posing threat to the environment.

A large number of shops on the beach continue to sell the products violating the government order.

The vendors in the beach prefer plastic as it is cheap and fits their budget. They added that the other alternatives are quite expensive and exceeds their limit. “The government earlier told that they will find a better and affordable alternative but didn't come up with anything yet,” says Deepika, a cola shop owner.

Even then some people throw the wastes as they like. Gayathri, a vendor, said, “when we tell thepeople to throw the litters in the bins, they get on to fight with us and ask us to mind our own business. It is disheartening to see educated people doing it.” People forget that these plastic wastes settles under the soil and stops the water flow under the ground and increases water scarcity.

Most invariably, those who visit the beach leave behind the waste and hardly look around for bins to dispose plastics or any kind of waste. It is also mandatory for the shops to keep dustbins outside their shops as rules listed by the corporation.

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