Bhubaneswar, July 10
Making an important announcement on use of plastic, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said entire Odisha will be made plastic-free in coming two years.
“Plastic is harmful for the environment. Plastic is also hugely harmful for the future of the children and civilization. Taking this into account, I have decided to permanently ban plastic from Odisha”, said Patnaik while giving an awareness message on environment protection during ‘Aama Muhkyamantri, Aama Katha’ (Our Chief Minister, our talk) programme), a video conferencing initiative to connect with the people in every nook and cranny of the state.
In the first phase, use of plastic will be proscribed in all Municipal Corporations and Puri from October 2, he said adding that in next two years this environmentally hazardous item will be completely banned throughout the State.
Use of plastic bag, polythene and single use plastic items will be illegal in the State. While the Department of Housing &Urban Development will remain responsible for implementation of this decision in urban areas, Panchayatiraj Department is mandated to ensure it in rural areas, he said. The Department of Forest and Environment will monitor the plastic pollution control throughout the State, said Patnaik.
Environmentalists, however, have expressed apprehensions over implementation of this decision. They have suggested that before banning use of plastic, the State government must take stern action against those industrialists who are engaged in producing this environmentally hazardous materials.
Underscoring protection of environment, Patnaik said trees are inseparably connected with our culture. “All know the significance of trees for the life system in the world we live in. Therefore, in this rainy season everyone should plant a sapling and nurture it as they take care of their family”, said Patnaik. Existence of trees will ensure a good environment. We as well as our family will remain healthy in a good environment and will be able to contribute for the wellbeing of the society at large, he pointed out.
While complementing all the stake holders in the State for ensuring forest growth to remain ahead of the national growth rate in last few years, Patnaik exhorted the people of Odisha to cooperate in making Odisha a plastic free state.