October 30, 2015
Despite plastic usage in Coonoor decreasing by 90 per cent in the last four years, Swachh Bharat Mission’s first year anniversary rally began from Sims Park in a bid to keep up the tempo and pep up the awareness on keeping the town clean. .
Thousands of college and school students participated in the rally led by the Coonoor Municipality Commissioner. M. Mileshwar, Coonoor Municipality Chairman. D. Saravana Kumar, and the Coonoor Municipality Sanitary Inspector V.M. Malmurugan. The municipality sanitary workers also actively participated in the rally that concluded at Coonoor bus stand.
Mileshwar said that the Nilgiris is popular tourist destination. Being a busy tourist place, the district has to deal with plastics being dumped by tourists as well as the local residents. Plastic has been banned in the Nilgiris for a while now. Lots of steps have been taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu and the centre to preserve the environment here.
Malmurugan said that the main motto of the Swachh Bharat Mission, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014, is to make India clean and green. Between 2011 and 2015, the usage of plastic has decreased by 90% in Coonoor. Periodically, penalties are imposed by the Municipality on shops that use plastic bags. The District Collector P Shankar has ordered that fines of Rs.1500 be imposed on the shops thrice. “If they do not mend their ways, the shops can be sealed by the authorities. For recycling and reusing the plastics, plastic shredder machine worth Rs.7,00,000 was brought to the Pothanur unit of Coimbatore”, Malmurugan said.
Awareness programmes are also being conducted continuously by the Coonoor Municipality in schools and colleges.