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Plastic ban to sanctify temples

Staff Reporter

Severe penalty of Rs. 1 lakh or 7-year sentence for violators

— Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Reining in abusers:Muzrai Minister Krishna J. Palemar (left) with the eco-toilet model displayed at Pollutech India 2010 in Bangalore on Friday.

Bangalore: The Muzrai Ministry has issued a circular banning the use of plastic around temples, and those who violate the order could be looking at some tough penalties, according to Muzrai Minister J. Krishna Palemar.

Mr. Palemar, who also holds the Environment and Ecology portfolio told reporters at the inauguration of a seminar on environment and pollution ‘Pollutech India 2010' that the circular, issued last week entails a fine of Rs. 1 lakh or a sentence of seven years for those who violate the order as stipulated in the Environment Protection Act.

With this order, these religious establishments will join a handful of spaces where plastic is banned, including wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has proposed to implement the ban in BBMP offices, marriage halls and parks. The Minister, had on an earlier occasion, expressed concern over the distribution of ‘prasada' in plastic bags.

Botanical park

The tourist hotspot Pilikula Nisargadhama near Mangalore will soon have a botanical park spanning over 50 acres, Mr. Palemar said. The park will be developed at a cost of Rs. 15 crore and showcase hundreds of endangered plants from the Western Ghats. Studies have shown that plants in the Western Ghats are becoming extinct and the floral species have plummeted from 48,000 to 18,000, he added. A herbarium and heritage village spread over 300 acres will also be set up in the area.

Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board S.P. Gautam said that “automated monitoring systems” to check pollution will be established to reduce human error in monitoring effluents, emissions and noise pollution.

Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB)A.S. Sadashivaiah and environmental activist A.N. Yellappa Reddy spoke at the two-day seminar, which was organised by the Bangalore Media Centre, in association with the KSPCB.

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