Plastic menace on rise in Chikkamagaluru hill ranges

Plastic menace on rise in Chikkamagaluru hill ranges

Plastic waste dumped near a hill range in Chikkamagaluru.

Heaps of plastic waste now cover the once pristine hill ranges of Chikkamagaluru.

In spite of the ban on plastic carry bags, heaps of plastic waste is found from Dangudi to hill ranges in Chikkamagaluru.

The plastic waste has become a menace in and around Sri Gurudattatreya Bababudanswamy Dargah.

The claim on fighting plastic menace exists only on the paper. The boards installed by the authorities say, “Carrying plastic bags and liquor is banned at tourist spots in the district. A fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed on those who carry plastic carry bags.”

However, all these warnings have little effect. A lot of plastic glasses, bottles, plates, carry bags and wrappers are found all over the hill ranges and surroundings of Dargah. It is a challenge for the authorities to contain the plastic menace. 

“Plastic trash and even liquor bottles are found thrown all over the place. The waste is not even dumped inside the dustbins. The visitors defecate in open in the hill ranges. There is a need to check the destructive acts of the tourists,” a staff of Pravasi Mithra told DH.

Hundreds of tourists visit the hill ranges to enjoy the pristine nature and also visit Datta Peeta and Dargah daily. The density of visitors increases during the weekends. A few spots have become dump yards, he added. 

“Datta peeta is a unique place of worship, where people from all religions visit. There is a need to maintain cleanliness in the region. Stringent action should be initiated against those who fail to adhere to the guidelines,” said Sayyed Hussain, a tourist. 

“The cleanliness and sanitation in and around Dargah comes under the Department of Religious Endowment. A staff is appointed for the purpose. Measures have been taken to clear the garbage including plastic waste from the vicinity,” an official from Religious Endowment department said. 

“The tourists ‘gift’ plastics to the hill ranges. The density of vehicles increase during the weekend. Three police are deployed for managing the traffic. However, they inspect the vehicles casually. The officials can impose fine for the use of plastic. However, there are no instances of imposing the fine so far,” rued an environmentalist, who didn’t wished to be named.

He, however, said there are even instances of hospital waste being dumped on the hill ranges in the past. Strict measures should be initiated to check plastic menace in the region.

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