Bengal makes Sagar Island 'no-plastic zone'

Bengal makes Sagar Island 'no-plastic zone'

The West Bengal government has initiated measures to make Sagar Island - the venue for the annual Gangasagar Mela - a plastic-free zone.

The local administration has been asked to ensure that pilgrims coming to the area for the Gangasagar Mela do not the litter the place or the Ganges water with non-biodegradable materials, a senior government official said.

The Gangasagar panchayat samity has also been roped in for the cause, he said.

"We have been working all round the year trying to make the area a no-plastic zone. But this will take some time," the official said.

The triangular Sagar Island, situated around 130 km from Kolkata, is separated from the mainland by rivers Ganga and Muriganga on two sides and faces the Bay of Bengal on the third side.

Lakhs of Hindu pilgrims gather here every year during Makar Sankranti to take a holy dip at the confluence of the Ganga and Bay of Bengal.

The administration has been distributing leaflets to the local people and the visitors to create awareness on the matter.

Besides, microphones installed at five ghats in the area will be guiding people on garbage disposal, the senior official said.

"Two types of bins will be placed at the ghats. While the green ones are for biodegradable garbage, the yellows will be for non-biodegradable materials," a member of the Gangasagar panchayat samity said.

The block development officers and other senior government officials have also attended gram-sabha meetings to spread the world on the initiative, he said.

Besides local people, the district administration will take help from representatives of self-help groups here to keep the area clean.

"This drive, initiated last year, is already showing positive results. The roads and the beaches, as well as the mela ground, are now clean and free of plastics," he added.

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