Chennai: Activists get together to tidy Elliot’s beach

CHENNAI: Many volunteers, including school and college students, women’s self-help groups and environmentalists, under the banner Reclaim our Beaches (ROB) joined hands to clean Elliot’s beach on Tuesday.

Armed with gloves, children from Orur-Olcott Kuppam Middle School, Sishya and KFI enthusiastically began clearing the mountains of trash — plastic bags, water sachets, newspapers, slippers and old clothes. Sources said 20 tonnes of waste were removed.

“We removed at least seven bags of waste, most of it was old clothes,” said A Sheik Mohammed, a class 6 student.
A study by volunteers in December last year revealed that nearly 1,700 pieces of glass and another 18,000 bits of trash, including 8,500 plastic cups, water sachets and disposable spoons and 8,000 pieces of sliver packaging of gutkha, mint and other consumables, littered the beach. This despite the corporation spending Rs 2.4 crore in 2008 for beautification.

The fishing colonies lack basic amenities, including sewage and drainage facilities. The concrete dustbins built years ago have proved to be inadequate. The whole area is filled with trash, most of it non-biodegradable waste.

On Tuesday, volunteers had to remove blocks in the sewage channels that flow from houses to the beach. As the fishing colonies are unapproved, the houses do not have sewer connections. “But that should not be an excuse for Metrowater to not look at alternate solutions,” said environmentalist Nithyanand Jayaraman. The ROB has planned zero waste celebrations and proposed to build a ‘garbage monument’ from the trash collected on January 31.

From TOI

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