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MTDC to make 7 spots trash-free, other destinations to replicate plan MTDC to make 7 spots trash-free, other destinations to replicate plan

Jan-16-2015 | 0 Comments

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PUNE: A cleanliness drive is set to sweep Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) destinations.

For starters, seven tourist places in the state have been chosen to create a model for replication. Among them is Sinhagad fort, where the corporation will rope in the forest department and the Archaeological Survey of India to make them litter-free.

Solutions to tackle littering on the fort's premises, collecting a deposit from those carrying plastic bottles inside the fort and directing eating joints to serve tea in earthen cups instead of plastic ones are some steps.

The other six spots include Saptashrungi Devi Temple in Vani in Nashik, Areware beach in Ratnagiri, Moharli-Tadoba in Nagpur, Girgaon Chowpati in Mumbai, Chikhaldara in Amravati and Ellora in Aurangabad.

The MTDC's head office had asked seven regional offices in the state to pick a tourist spot each which could be taken up under the Clean India Campaign. Each regional office was given a different category. Pune got a fort, Nashik a pilgrimage spot, Ratnagiri a beach, Amravati a hill station, Nagpur a forest area and Aurangabad a cave.

Regional offices then sent their nominations. Sinhagad fort has the maximum tourist footfall in Pune. Each destination category chosen from the state has cleanliness issues. Beaches have their garbage problem rising from coconuts shells and other refuse, temples have food-related garbage issues and forts have plastic waste, said officials.

"Such issues will be studied and a possible solution on how to tackle the litter at each destination category will be worked out. Litter and garbage problems in all tourist destinations across the state will be addressed based on what we learn from these seven pilot locations," said an MTDC official.

A survey was recently undertaken at Sinhagad fort to study its waste problem. "The litter includes plastic bags and water bottles, husk, seeds and shells from nuts and fruits sold by vendors here, waste from donkeys that ply the fort and others. As a start, MTDC, along with the ASI, the forest department and members of the public locals will clean the length and breadth of the fort and its exteriors," the official added.

The MTDC will install dustbins, develop a strategy on how best to collect litter from shops and houses, and ultimately chalk out a plan on how to free the fort from litter.

As part of the drive, the forest department along with the MTDC may collect Rs 20 per bottle as deposit from those who carry plastic water bottles to the fort. "Tourists will be told to leave the empty bottles with us and take back their deposit. We have already stopped smoking and supply of non-vegetarian food on the fort. We met representatives of the eating joints in and around the fort where it was decided that they would collect and tackle food-related refuse they generate," the forest department official said.

The department has undertaken grass cutting at the fort to check forest fires. "As part of the campaign, we have decided to rid the fort of plastic. We suggested that eateries serve 'chai' and other liquids in earthen cups instead of plastic cups," he added.


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