Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Home > City News > Koramangala: Success in purging plastic bags

Koramangala: Success in purging plastic bags

plastic city kempNeeraja Shetty

DECLARING war on the use of plastic bags has not been easy in many cities, but Koramangala, HSR Layout can be a model after its admirable success.
On 28th January 2016, Ms. PadmashreeBalaram, a Koramangala resident visited the BDA complex of HSR layourfor some purchases and realized that they didn’t have plastic carry bags for her. Immediately, she saw an opportunity for implementing change in Koramangala for the betterment of the ecosystem of Koramangala ward(151). A whatsapp group(ByB “Bring your Bag”) was created and overnight there were 50 members. It grew in leaps and bounds and stands at 256 members today. There were many residents waiting for someone to ring the bell and the program to ban plastic was kicked off almost instantaneously.
The first meeting happened in the first week of February which involved Chandrappa, Corporator, various health officials from BBMP, Yogesh.M.J (AEE), residents from various blocks of Koramangala. Ms SmitaK ulkarni and Dr. Shanti T give a presentation on the need for ban on plastic carry bags and how it was implemented in HSR. AEE Yogesh also spoke about willingness and commitment from BBMP team towards the implementation of the ban. 14th February 2016 was decided as the day of Walkathon to create awareness among the general public.
On 10th February 2016, a meeting with the various traders in Koramangala was arranged at Koramangala Club. Around 120 traders attended and discussed the issues around ban of one-time plastic and the alternatives available in the market.
On 14th February 2016, the walkathon was flagged off by Ramalinga Reddy (MLA & Transport Minister). A lot of dignitaries including Manjunatha Reddy (Mayor), Chandrappa (Corporator), Kumar Naik (BBMP Commissioner), Subodh Yadav (Special Commissioner for SWT), Hemachandra(BBMP Joint Commissioner) attended the event. There were more than 500 participants.  Various residents from different wards, School children, volunteers made this event a huge success.
A lot of volunteers, from various blocks, started a door to door campaign about plastic ban and the alternatives available. Various concerns raised by traders were discussed in the group and experts from SWMRT, HSR group were also consulted to identify the alternatives. The volunteers covered close to 900 establishments in various blocks in Koramangala. Various NGOs like Seva In Action, Stonesoup.com, Samarthanam Trust, Sahas, Swachha have helped in ensuring the success of this program.
On 2nd March 2016, the first enforcement drive was conducted. Chandrappa (Corporator), Bhagyalakshmi (MOH), Krishnavardhan (Health Officer), along with BBMP team and volunteers visited various estabilshments on the 5th Cross road, 5th block and 1st Cross, 5th Block. A lot of defaulters were fined and the plastic was seized. Examples of traders fined are: A trader dumping unsegregated waste on footpath; A restaurant keeping unsegregated waste; A fast food place with very unhygienic kitchen; A well-known sweets shop having large amounts of plastic bags and unsegregated waste
As the volunteers and the BBMP officials were regrouping to analyze the effectiveness of the enforcement drive and the actions to be taken going forward, the citizens of Karnataka were given a wonderful news on the 4th March 2016. Karnataka Government has given approval to ban of single use plastic. There were scenes of great joy and accomplishment among all the activists/volunteers and citizens.
To celebrate this great achievement and to show appreciation to all volunteers who worked on this campaign, the entire team is holding a function on Women’s Day. Here is wishing all the best to the team and encouraging them to keep working towards the betterment of our society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *