Medak: Medak district administration took up a multipronged strategy to make the district free of plastic menace. Beginning the job from the grass-root level, the administration involved SHG women, field assistants, elected representatives at Gram Panchayat level, Panchayat Secretary and others to curb the polythene and other synthetic usage. During the cleaning drive conducted by the constituted committee, the district administration collected a gigantic 55,000 kg of plastic from across the district recently.
Under the guidance of Collector K Dharma Reddy, who is determined to make the district free from the use of the plastic, they have signed an understanding with ITC Private Limited which agreed to buy all the plastic collected in the district. Meanwhile, District Panchayat Officer Hanok said the district administration was also trying to involve all the scrap businessmen to sign an agreement at village level to buy the plastic collected from the villages, which will avoid the transportation burden.
Hanok further told Telangana Today that the plastic would remain in the earth without degrading for hundreds of years which affects the soil composition besides causing several environmental hazards. In addition to collecting the plastic dumped across the district, the DPO said that they also streamlined the collection of the dry and wet garbage from door-to-door. The dry garbage, which mostly contains plastic, will be collected by the sanitation staff once in a week while the efforts were on to set up a garbage unit covering four to five villages to produce compost from the wet garbage to restrict the garbage reaching the dump yard. The sanitation staff will be paid from the revenue earned from making compost and selling the plastic collected, he said.
Asking each and every household to pay Rs 30 for door-to-door garbabge collectors, Hanok said that they had made the sanitation staff accountable to the citizens. While the Collector Dharma Reddy is conducting time-to-time meetings with all the heads of the district administration and other stakeholders, the DPO and his team are conducting meetings Mandal level meetings with village-level officials and public representatives. To discourage the shops from packing groceries and other things in plastic covers, Hanok said that they had also conducted campaigns prior to conducting raids to seize the plastic bags of below 50 microns thickness.
Wallposters were also pasted at all the shops to sensitise the customers and businessmen. He called upon the people to join hands to free the district from using plastic. Collector observed that collecting all the discarded plastic was a great step towards protecting soil health. However, he has opined that they have to go a long way to inculcate the habit of keeping every citizen away from using plastic.