HYDERABAD: At least 30 kg of plastic can be found from the stomach of every cow or buffalo which dies in India, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar has said. A ‘plastic carry-bag free India’ campaign would be launched soon, he said while interacting with walkers at KBR Park here on Saturday as one of them expressed concern over plastic waste.
He noted that plastic bags below 40 microns are banned and rag pickers do not take them as they cannot be recycled and are ultimately strewn all over the place.
“Every day, 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated in the country. Only 9,000 tonnes (of the total) get collected. So we have plastic heaps...all over the villages also. They will remain there for hundreds of years like carbon dioxide,’’ the minister said.
Javadekar said a “plastic carry-bag free India” public campaign would be launched with stricter law enforcement and punishment, surprise checks and raids on illegal manufacturing units.
Urban green as carbon sinks: As a solution to high pollution levels in cities, Javadekar said they have plans to create carbon sinks by developing greenery in urban areas. “In all urban areas, we want to balance vehicular pollution by creating more carbon sinks, by creating various forests and more urban green,’’ he said.
Calling for people’s participation in achieving the objective, he said that the urban green movement can create the much needed lung space for cities.
School visits: The forest department also plans to sensitize schoolchildren to environment by scheduling monthly visits to parks located in and around the city. In a few months, the department expects to come out with a plan. Entry fee and transportation cost for schools which cannot afford the expenses might be waived off, said PK Sharma, principal chief conservator of forests, Telangana.
Walkers Complain about Entry Fee
Hyderabad: Morning walkers at KBR National Park poured out their woes to Prakash Javadekar, Union environment minister against high entry fee to the park. Officials of the Telangana forest department, however sounded little hope in bringing down the fee, and said that they might further increase it. Last year, the entry fee had been increased from Rs 10 to Rs 20 for adults, and from Rs 5 to Rs 10 for children. The fee for one year has been hiked from Rs 800 to Rs 1,500, and for senior citizens it has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000. ‘’The annual maintenance cost of the park comes up to more than a Rs 1crore. After the entry fee is increased, we are earning around Rs 85 lakh per annum. We might increase the fee but not decrease it,” said a senior official of the forest department. While enquiring their problems and lending an ear to their suggestions on how to further improve the park, Javadekar asked the entry fee to remain as it is considering the upmarket areas like Banjara Hills, Film Nagar, amidst which the park is located.