Pet plastic bottles to go from Ooty

2nd stage of plastic ban in the hills from September 1.

Ooty: Come Sunday, September 1, this hills of Nilgiris will be scripting new history in the annals of its anti-plastic drive as the sale of water and soft drinks in 'pet ( polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles' will be banned along the highways and national highway across the Nilgiris.

Ms J. Innocent Divya, tough, hands-on collector of Nilgiris, and a proven anti-plastic warrior in recent times, said that as per the Madras high court directions on ban on sale of water and soft drinks in pet plastic bottles along the highways and national highway in the Nilgiris as well as the roads traversing the forests, the district administration of Nilgiris has taken steps implement this order from September 1."

We have installed 70 water dispensing ATM's in various spots across the Nilgiris along the state highways and national highway to dispense purified water. Public and tourists can use permitted reusable containers and glass bottles to fetch water from these ATM's", she noted.

“These water ATM's are coin operated, which will be maintained by a private agency. Capacity of each such ATM is 1,000 litres. Water is sold for Rs.five per litre through this ATM's. A check-post will be erected in Kallar along Nilgiris-Coimabtore border to check the tourists and other travelers to the hills from carrying plastic water bottles. Likewise, in other inter-state borders in Nilgiris stringent check-up drive will be done to prevent the entry of pet plastic water bottles to the hills. In the forest areas, the concerned forest officials will be monitoring the situation. This is a new beginning in controlling the pet plastic bottle menace in the hills," Ms.Divya added.

Meanwhile, V. Sivadass, managing trustee of Nilgiris Environment and Socio-cultural Trust, said that it is true that the irresponsible way by which some tourists and other travelers throwing away the used pet plastic water bottles along the road sides and in the wooded zones vitiated the hill ecology. These thrown away plastic bottles are not only creating eye-sore, but, they also tend to play havoc with the healthy jungles and wildlife, besides chocking the streams and drainage channels. Since the most of the throw-away plastics are non-biodegradable in nature, they in course of time prohibit sub-soil water percolation that would ultimately play spoil-sport with soil health. It is good to see that finally a good initiative has been taken now to eradicate the plastic pet bottles in Nilgiris, he added.

Rohit Jain, joint secretary of the Nilgiris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, pointed out that there are chances that some beggars try to play mischief with the ATM's in the night hours. So, strict vigilance is needed to check any sort of unhygienic elements reaching out to these ATM's. “ It will be good to employ somebody to man these ATM's or camera surveillance to check mischievous elements trying to play spoil-sport with these water vending ATM's” he suggested.

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