Massive drive to clean up beaches, river fronts
As a run-up to the World Environment Day on June 5, the Environment Ministry on Thursday formed 19 teams to clean up 24 sea beaches in nine coastal states as also as many river fronts in 19 states, spending Rs 10 lakh on each.
These teams include senior officers of the ministry, the state pollution control boards, state nodal agencies for eco-clubs in schools, fish- ery colleges and educational institutions. The teams will engage school and college students as also local communities in the cleaning drive that will be carried out on the prescribed holidays.
The beaches selected for cleaning include Calangute, Miramar and Colva in Goa, Mirya and Ganpatipule in Maharashtra, Panambur, Malpe, Gokarna and Karwar in Karnataka and Veraval, Porbandar and Mangrol in Gujarat.
The river fronts identified for the drive include Mandovi in Goa, Sabarmati and Tapti in Gujarat, Narmada in Madhya Pradesh, Chambal in Kota-Rajasthan and Krishna and Mulamutha in Maharashtra.
Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has also written to the school principals to let their students not only join the cleaning drive but also ensure that their schools become plastic frees. He said the ministry will certify the schools that become plastic free ensuring that no plastic items are used in schools such as plastic water bottles, plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic plates, plastic water jugs, plastic folders/trays/pen stands etc.
The minister appealed for all citizens to join the cleaning drive as India is the global host this year to the World Environment Day celebrations, the largest UN-led celebrations on environment, with the team of "Beat Plastic Pollution."