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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Puri to see world’s largest coastal clean-up exercise on September 21

Priests of Jagannath temple, Puri hoteliers, NCC cadets and local youths associations would also lend a hand to the exercise. Drone cameras would record the clean-up.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2019 21:25 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Bhubaneswar
On August 16, Mumbai’s 2.5 km Versova seafront was cleaned by volunteers in the largest-ever single day clean-up.
On August 16, Mumbai’s 2.5 km Versova seafront was cleaned by volunteers in the largest-ever single day clean-up.(HT image)
         

Three years after hundreds of volunteers, including residents, celebrities and UN officials, came together to make the Versova beach in Mumbai litter-free, a similar mega clean-up exercise of about 100 places in coastal Puri district involving over 5000 people including volunteers, students, self help groups, scouts and guides as well as government officials would kick off on September 21.

Touted as world’s largest clean-up programme, the 2-hour-long exercise would not just aim to clean up all the beaches of Puri district, ravaged by very severe cyclone Fani four months ago, but several places of the region known as much for its religious importance as history.

“While the Versova beach clean-up in August 2016 involved about 2000 people, the Puri clean up would be on a much bigger scale in terms of people involved and number of places being cleaned on a single day,” said Sushanta Nanda, project director of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, that is funding the drive. The Puri clean up has been titled “Swachha Sundara Samastankara(Clean, beautiful and of everyone).

On August 16, Mumbai’s 2.5 km Versova seafront was cleaned by volunteers in the largest-ever single day clean-up.

Nanda said the mega clean-up exercise would start at 6 am on September 21 in which at least 30-40 volunteers would be present in each of the 100 spots, 20 of which would be in Puri and Konark municipality areas alone. Priests of Jagannath temple, Puri hoteliers, NCC cadets and local youths associations would also lend a hand to the exercise. Drone cameras would record the clean-up.

Internationally-acclaimed sand artist and Puri resident Sudarshan Patnaik, who will be the brand ambassador of the event, said the mega coastal clean-up drive was a warm-up exercise ahead of October 2, the day from which Odisha has banned single-use plastics. Patnaik even made a sand art of the scheduled event at the Puri sea beach.

Since June this year, volunteers and officials in Puri have started a clean-up exercise in all its beaches under a programme titled “Mo Beach”(My beach). Every Tuesday morning, workers of Biju Yuva Vahini, a BJD-backed youth force, members from panchayat raj institutions, SHG workers, ASHA workers, government employees, NCC and Scouts/Guide members, small vendors and hoteliers along the beach and NGOs are keeping the beach litter-free under the programme. Donning gloves and masks, the volunteers pick up garbage for two hours.

Officials said Puri alone generates at least 110 tonnes of solid waste everyday, but there is no estimation of similar solid waste in other towns of the district. Though a major tourist town of Odisha, Puri municipality does not have door-to-door garbage collection that has led to residents dumping garbage on the streets.

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 21:25 IST

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