VISAKHAPATNAM: A group of youth collected a huge number of empty liquor bottles and plastic waste strewn along the Beach Road, mostly from inaccessible and less frequented areas, and tourism spots such as Kailasagiri and near city zoo.
As part of the 100-day clean-up drive launched by India Youth For Society (IYFS), the youth collected empty liquor bottles weighing 9.7 tonne and 1,600 kg of plastic and solid waste in the past 11 weeks.
The youth, comprising students and some officials, said they joined the drive to make the environment clean and to do their bit for the society.
IYFS founder Appala Reddy said the drive was launched to spread the campaign along the Beach Road, Kailasagiri and city zoo. “We received a good response from people for our initiative. We are shifting the plastic and empty bottles to Kapuluppada dumping yard where the plastic waste and glass bottles are recycled. Also, the group is safe methods are adopted to collect broken empty glass bottles.”
He said apart from the clean up, they are also sensitising people about segregation of wet and dry waste. Some of the IYFS members participated in waste segregation in the city on Friday, he said.
They would continue their campaign even after 100 days to sensitise people about the impact of plastic pollution, he added.
Excise Sub-Inspector Gnaneswari, a part of the group, said liquor bottles and plastic waste presenting an ugly picture. They are a slur on the fair image of Vizag, a tourist spot. Consumption of liquor at public places is a crime and causes inconvenience to people. There should be a change in behaviour and attitude of people; the police alone cannot bring about that change, she added.
Sandeep, a student of Lovely Professional University, Punjab, said he joined the IYFS campaign to make the Vizag beach free of plastic and other waste. It is necessary to make public aware about the need to keep the beach clean, he added.
IYFS coordinator G Harshvardhan said the 70-day drive was taken up to make the smart city free from plastics. GVMC was also supporting the campaign, he said.
Lauding the initiative, Chaitanya Sravanti chairperson Shirin Rahman, who is also Swachh Bharat ambassador, said an awareness campaign should be taken up to abstain people from throwing plastic bags and empty liquor bottles in open places. Curbs on manufacture of single use plastic bags will yield long lasting results, she said, adding that the vulnerable areas are Peda Walatair beach, Judugulla Palem, and Kailasagiri.
GVMC CMOH A Hemanth said the civic body was supporting the IYFS initiative. He said most problematic areas were either inaccessible or less frequented. He said it was a challenging task to make the areas around tourism spots free from plastic waste and empty bottles.
“People should utilise the facilities provided for disposal of waste along the beach road and in the city,” he concluded.