KOCHI: As the state moves towards a complete ban on single-use plastics from January 1, Mulanthuruthy grama panchayat is riding high on its successful implementation of the ban since November. The ban was following a survey that revealed an increase in the number of cancer, and liver and kidney ailments cases in the panchayat.
As part of the ban, a specially formed panchayat squad penalised some shops that were selling plastic covers. According to Rajesh T Varghese, panchayat secretary, around Rs 30,000 was collected in fines from shops and auditoriums which broke the green protocol. “The squad conducted regular inspections till the third week of November. Most of the fines collected are from the initial days. People are cooperating well with the decision and the penalties have come down. Many are going to the meat markets with bowls from home. Also, all the shops are selling cloth bags.”
‘Ini Njan Ozhukatte’
Haritha Keralam Mission’s new project to rejuvenate water streams in the state, Ini Njan Ozhukatte (Let Me Flow), was implemented in the panchayat on Monday. Panchayat officials said they were now focusing on the water management systems, water harvesting and reviving water bodies. “We have started cleaning the Karicode canal as part of the project. It was filled with plastic and that had stopped its flow. Now we have started removing them,” said Rajesh.