OOTY: The Nilgiri Documentation Centre (NDC), an NGO here, appealed for converting the plastic ban into fresh employment opportunities for the youth in the hill-district.
Hill veteran Dharmalingam Venugopal, director of NDC, said that the ban on water bottles has not only seriously affected tourists but also locals. Water bottles have been in use for more than three decades and it is not easy to give up the habit or find alternatives.
Compared to three decades ago, people now travel more frequently for jobs, leisure, medical and other reasons. It is not possible to carry all their water needs with them. The sudden ban on water bottles may give rise to widespread water-borne diseases as people could drink unprotected water, he reasoned.
“The High Court direction on plastic ban appears to have been wrongly interpreted. The court obviously meant that the district administration should provide drinking water during peak visiting months. The water ATMs installed across the Nilgiris have already proved their unworthiness. It is advisable to dismantle them before serious complaints arise,” he noted.
“The plastic ban is for good and the administration has to think of several alternatives to provide safe water to local people and tourists. Unemployed and self-employed youth should be provided with mobile water and fresh juice vending motorized or manual cycles on loan or with subsidy. They can be provided with safe stainless steel containers with facilities for clean drinking cups, he suggested, he suggested. Private water providers can set up refilling outlets which can be regularly inspected by health officials,” he added....