Single-Use Plastic to be banned across India from Tomorrow

Imphal, October 1, 2019 (DIPR): The State is all geared up to pay homage to the ‘Father of the Nation’ – Maha­tma Gandhi by observing National Cleanliness Day to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary tomorrow (Oct 2, 2019). Cleanliness drive will be held across the State along with activities like prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies in schools and colleges, government and socio-political institutions.

The day is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence since 2nd October, 2007 in other countries after the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution on 15th June, 2007. The resolution reflected universal respect for Gandhi and his philosophy. The day aims to spread the message of non-violence (ahimsa) through education and public awareness around the world.

To celebrate the anniversary of the flagship programme ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, ‘Swachhata Hi Seva 2019 was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mathura, Uttar Pradesh on September 11, 2019. It is a massive nationwide awareness and mobilisation campaign on cleanliness.

The first phase of the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ 2019 mass awareness campaign on the theme ‘plastic waste awareness and management’ concluded today. The campaign was also held in the State, jointly organised by the Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD) along with Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) at the iconic Ima Keithel, Khwairamband Bazar.

Speaking as the chief guest of the function, MAHUD Minister Shri Thounaojam Shyamkumar said the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign aims at fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean India by mobilising the masses and reinforcing people’s movement for sanitation. He said ‘cleanliness is godliness’ had been the mantra of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and he demonstrated, propagated and insisted for individual and community cleanliness.

He said Mahatma Gandhi incorporated a non-violent resistance, taking the forefront of India’s freedom struggle movement against the colonial British rule. He said realizing his dream of a clean India is a collective responsibility.

Considering cleanliness as an important aspect for the physical well-being and a healthy environment, he also stressed on maintaining the environment and sustainable conservation of natural resources of the State. He called upon people to come together, to be civilized, cultured and clean so that the State can be a leader in culture and cleanliness ranking.

The Minister opined that cleanliness makes us healthy in every aspect like mental, physical, social and intellectual. He said we should make cleanliness and sanitation as an integral part of our living, as propagated by Gandhi.

He appealed to the women vendors of the Ima Keithel to maintain cleanliness in the area to keep the Asia’s largest all-women’s market neat and clean. On the other hand, he opined that male vendors in the market will adulterate the essence of the historic market.

He also called upon all the stakeholders to come forward in banning the single-use plastics and minimizing the usage of plastics by replacing it by biodegradable products like taking cloth bags, paper bags among others.

Shri Th. Harikumar Singh, Director, MAHUD said that the plastics collected during the  Swachhta Hi Seva campaign will be used in road toppings and in making cement. He said National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will use plastic and polythene waste for road topping. Likewise, cement factories will procure the plastic waste for making cement, he added. He also stressed on the re-introduction of paper bags in shops and usage of bags made of biodegradable materials like cloth, jute among others.

Nationwide Shramdaan for plastic waste collection and segregation will be on 2nd October. Recycling and effective disposal of the collected plastic waste will be held from 3rd October to 27th October 2019.

Today’s function was also attended by MAHUD Commissioner Shri M. Joy Singh, IMC Commissioner, K. Chandrakumar Singh, IMC Administrator Shri Ksh. Lemba Singh, IMC workers, CM’s Green Manipur Mission Ambassador Km Elangbam Valentina Devi, women vendors of Ima Keithel, KEDO volunteers among others.

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