In a bid to put a stop to pollution caused by plastic bags of size below 50 microns, and keep the city ‘Clean and Green’, the mayor Firhad Hakim today carried out a rally at Chetla which witnessed the mayor himself cleaning garbage from the streets and visiting local markets distributing jute and cloth bags to vendors. The mayor today took to the streets of Chetla in ward no.82, of which he is also the councillor, and carried out a public awareness rally with banners that spoke of conserving the environment and keeping the city clean.

Mr Hakim, equipped with gloves and shovel, cleaned the streets in the area along with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) conservancy workers. Piles of garbage were noticed on several streets, stacked at the side of the road. Mr Hakim himself cleaned the garbage while asked the local residents not to throw waste material randomly at the side of the road. He urged them to behave like responsible citizens and keep their area clean.

It may be noted that the awareness drive comes in the wake of the dengue outbreak that has been claiming lives in the city for the past few months. KMC health officials are constantly asking people to keep their surroundings clean since such unhealthy environment paves the way for mosquito breeding. This was the second time that the mayor carried out a drive in Chetla. He said that every councillor must do the same in their respective wards. The mayor said, “It is one’s duty to keep one’s surrounding clean to ensure one is not afflicted by diseases that are caused due to unhygienic conditions.

This is my home locality and as a councillor, I felt responsible and went out to the streets to take up cleaning. Every citizen must bear this responsibility to ensure their city stays clean and green.” Mr Hakim also visited the local markets and handed over jute and cloth bags to the vendors. He warned the vendors to avoid using plastic carry bags below 50 microns while public announcements were made saying, selling and distributing of such plastic is illegal and one can be subjected to severe penalty if found violating the law. Such carry bags clog the drainage system causing water-logging in the area, it was pointed out.

It may be noted that KMC officials have time and again claimed that most drains and gully pits are cleaned every month and before the monsoons, so the water can flow out into the river unimpeded through the drains. However, it is the plastic bags which remain stuck inside and obstructs the flow of water. Most shops and streetside hawkers continue to use such carry bags which are cheap. KMC has already announced that both buyer and seller will be fined if found selling or buying any product in plastic bags below 50 microns.