Thane : Citizen activists of Thane city claim that 20 per cent of the streets and public places in the city look much cleaner thanks to the drop in plastic materials.
The nullahs are getting lesser choked as earlier the plastic waste would pollute city nullahs and street sides.
While most admit that much needs to be done to achieve the goal of a plastic-free city, city activists believe that the mindset of citizens is slowly changing and the city is on the right track with regards to ban on plastic.
Dr Mahesh Bedekar, a resident, said, "I have noticed that every person agrees with the plastic ban and there is a feeling of responsibility towards the future of the city. The change may not happen immediately and will take time, but it will happen. I can say safely that at least 20 per cent of the streets and public places across the city are cleaner and livelier thanks to the ban on plastic. If there is continuous awareness, even a single person can help change the mindset of four others:
Despite the heavy rains that lashed the city in July, the nullahs in Kalwa did not clog, which otherwise would have due to heaps of plastic carry bags being dumped rampantly by residents.
A civic official from the Kalwa ward, said, "Since the government has banned plastic there has hardly been any littering in the nullahs and drains. After we had conducted our annual pre-monsoon nullah-cleaning drive we went back for a visit to some of the drains. We were surprised to see that the plastic waste thrown has reduced by a considerable amount."
While citizens of Thane and its neighbouring suburbs are breathing a clearer air than a few months ago, the ones in Diva are facing a tough time as the banned material is still being carelessly dumped in the drains on a regular basis.
"When the civic administration had conducted raids at numerous shops in the city initially as the ban kicked in, citizens were scared and had stopped using polythene bags. Sadly then the bureaucracy neglected our area and things resumed back to normal. Our drains are flooded with plastic wrappers, polythene bags, bottles, etc openly being used by the residents," said Adesh Bhagat, a Diva resident.
However, in some slum areas of the city the situation is slightly bad as the dwellers are forced to throw their waste in the drains claiming that there is no regular waste collection by the civic administration.
"As the civic body garbage vans do not regularly visit our areas, we are forced to throw waste from our homes in the drains. We know that this is a bad practice and that we are prone to diseases due to this, but how long can we keep the waste accumulated in our homes? We anyway have space crunch and the civic body has been neglecting slum areas. Garbage collection in our areas is not regular which is why drains here will get choked as we have no other source of waste disposal: said Lakshmi Bhandari, a slum deweller from Majiwada.
I have noticed that every person agrees with the plastic ban and there is a feeling of responsibility towards the future of the city
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