While the huge volume of plastic wastes that clog the city's open drains and drainage channels in different parts of the city throw up ample evidence of the scale of the menace, the Tiruchi Corporation is set to frame fresh by-laws to check the use of plastic below 40 microns in thickness in the city.
Though it has been about four years since the Corporation banned the use of production and use of such non bio-degradable plastics, they continue to be used widely and indiscriminately in day-to-day life, in households, tea shops, eateries and many commercial establishments.
In the absence of public awareness, there is no regulation whatsoever in disposal of the plastic wastes, manifest through the mounting volume of plastic bags of various hues and sizes, plastic cups and other products in the city's solid waste collection every day. A major portion of these waste also find their way into open drains and drainage channels. Some of them also get into the underground drainage system posing a major headache, civic officials concede.
Almost all major channels in the city including the Irattai Vaical, the Kottai Vaical and other drains, which ultimately flow into the Cauvery river could be seen chocked with the plastic bags.
The recent efforts of the Tiruchi corporation in containing the problem appears to have had little and limited impact. A few days back, the Tiruchi-Chennai Highway and other roads leading to the Samayapuram Mariamman Temple were littered heavily with plastic wastes.
It required mobilisation of about 150 sanitary workers from different local bodies to clean up the mess, a district officer told The Hindu. While the district administration is planning to step up measures against the use of plastics across the district, the officer concedes it would be huge task.
The penalties stipulated in the by-laws farmed by the Tiruchi corporation, in 2008, for use and production of non bio-degradable plastics have hardly been a deterrent. The corporation had then announced that consumers using the banned plastic products, retail and wholesale traders and manufacturers of plastics would be liable to pay penalties. It had stipulated penalties of Rs.5,000 for manufacturers, Rs.2,500 for wholesale traders, Rs.750 for retailers, and Rs.100 for consumers.
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