Tem­ples go back to ba­sics, say no to plas­tics

Prasadam coun­ters, shops in­structed to shift to eco-friendly al­ter­na­tives

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Right from not burn­ing the plas­tic cov­ers on cam­phor to us­ing are­canut leaf plates or stain­less steel bowls for hold­ing ar­ti­cles, the Hindu Re­li­gious and Char­i­ta­ble En­dow­ments Depart­ment (HR&CE) has made a list of dos and don’ts to be im­ple­mented in tem­ples to en­force the ban on sin­gle-use plas­tics.

“We be­gan our train­ing pro­grammes and prepa­ra­tions for the ban three months ago. coun­ters and shops that are let out by tem­ples on lease have been in­structed to shift to non-plas­tic pack­ag­ing. Though it will seem costly at present, it will get ab­sorbed in the long run. Tem­ples stand for tra­di­tions and plas­tics

ar­chana Prasadam

are an in­tru­sion into that ethos. We are only re­viv­ing the cul­ture of peo­ple car­ry­ing flow­ers and items in bam­boo/wooden/ steel bas­kets to tem­ples,”

ar­chana

said T.K. Ra­machan­dran, for­mer Com­mis­sioner of the HR&CE Depart­ment, who is now posted as the Thoothukudi Port Trust chair­man.

At the Sri Ka­paleeswarar Tem­ple in My­la­pore, non­wo­ven bags have been re­placed with pure cot­ton bags, the orig­i­nal

“We have kept boards and have been mak­ing an­nounce­ments on a reg­u­lar ba­sis ask­ing devo­tees not to bring plas­tics into the tem­ple premises. Vol­un­teers are also on reg­u­lar watch for devo­tees com­ing in with plas­tic bags,” said a tem­ple of­fi­cial.

Bio­gas plants man­jap­pai.

Other kinds of waste, in­clud­ing flow­ers and food waste, are also be­ing dealt with by in­di­vid­ual tem­ples.

Fol­low­ing reg­u­lar train­ing pro­grammes by Tem­ple Exnora and en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­perts, tem­ples that have space, like that of Op­pil­i­ap­pan Peru­mal at Thirunakeswaram, have been asked to in­stall bio­gas plants, said S. Si­vaku­mar, Joint Com­mis­sioner, Mayavaram.

M.P. Ra­jasekha­ran, chief tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor of Tem­ple Exnora and prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant on en­vi­ron­ment and ecol­ogy ap­pointed by the Depart­ment, said after the sen­si­ti­sa­tion pro­grammes, there was a vis­i­ble re­duc­tion in the use of plas­tics in tem­ples. “Ear­lier, plas­tic bags used to be thrown into tem­ple ponds and some­times the bags used to block stormwa­ter drain chan­nels from the tem­ples,” he said.

S. Vanitha, a res­i­dent of Trip­li­cane, said: and steel tum­blers are wit­ness­ing a come back.”

“Dhon­nais

K.V. SRINI­VASAN ■

Big step: Pure cot­ton bags have re­placed non-wo­ven bags at the Sri Ka­paleeswarar Tem­ple in My­la­pore.

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