THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to protect the ocean and to create awareness about increasing marine pollution, a massive clean up drive was held along the state’s select beach destinations, including Kovalam, on Thursday.
The clean up drive coincided with the launch of Beach and Marine Environment Protection Council (BMEPC) to mark World Oceans Day on Thursday.
Hotels, resorts, educational institutions, NGOs, travel and tourism associations and social clubs from Kanyakumari to Kasaragod conducted the beach cleaning in their respective areas.
The aim of forming the Council was to educate the public and staff of hotels, resorts, restaurants and other organisations located along the beach about the need for better waste management near the coast.
“As part of the initiative, awareness will be created on the need to segregate waste and dispose it properly so that it does not end up polluting the ocean and other water bodies,” said Raj Gopal Iyer, CEO of Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Resort and Spa, Kovalam.
Raj, who is a member of the BMEPC Organising Committee, along with his team at Uday Samudra took the lead in cleaning up the beach and surrounding areas in Kovalam. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted his support for the initiative and encouraged his followers on Twitter to participate in the cleaning drive.
Besides Kovalam, cleaning drives were also held at the beaches in Kanyakumari, Poovar, Chowara, Shankumugham, Kollam, Alappuzha, Nattika and Kasaragod.
The Road Ahead
According to the stakeholders, BMEPC will be developing strategies to tackle plastic waste, curb disposal of raw sewage and keep the beaches clean through continuous process. A mass awareness will be given to keep the beaches clean.
Hotels and resorts situated on the coastal belt of South India will form an agenda to reduce marine debris. This will be ensured by routine beach and under-water cleaning in association with various agencies.