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Trichy's litter-free street initiative turns a damp squib

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Trichy: richy City Corporation’s litter-free street, an initiative launched a couple of months ago to encourage the residents welfare associations and citizens to keep the streets clean, has turned out to be a damp squib. At many places, the bright ‘litter free street’ tag affixed below the signage welcome the visitors, so do the garbage mounds along the streets. The authorities’ failure to penalise the offenders, especially in Ponmalai and Srirangam zones, is said to be the reason for the growing mound of garbage at public spots.

After identifying 20 streets (five streets per zone) that have very minimal litter, the corporation in September 2018 tagged them as ‘litter-free street’ further to improve the cleanliness and sanitation in the streets. Despite the presence of such coveted sign boards, littering continued unnoticed in a majority of the streets in Ponmalai and Srirangam zones. Though the number of litter-free streets has increased to 80 for last two months, local people said that littering and dumping of garbage on roads continue unabated. "Litter-free status should not be a gimmick. Residents and sanitary officials, who took the responsibility of the streets, should be made accountable for both the progress and lapse," H Ghouse Baig, secretary, Consumer Protection Council, Ponmalai branch said.

Out of the four zones in Trichy Corporation, the litter-free streets in Ariyamangalam and K Abishkepuram zones are maintained well, but the streets in Srirangam and Ponmalai zones are regressive.

In Cantonment, the posh vicinity falling under Ponmalai zone, litter-free street Benwells Road continues to be littered with garbage and garden waste. "There is no difference in Benwells Road’s sanitary condition before and after being declared as a litter-free street. Waste is still dumped along our stretch," K Sathish Kumar, faculty of a college on Benwells Road said.

Similarly, Pushpak Nagar in Srirangam zone, also identified as litter-free street, has waste dumped on roads. Sources said that authorities in Ponmalai and Srirangam zones were not levying penalty on the offenders to curb littering. However, Ariyamangalam and K Abishekapuram zones do penalise the offenders and one can see the difference. "In Cantonment locality, commercial outlets dump on the roads during night. Since there is people movement round-the-clock, it is a challenging task for us to ensure cleanliness without public support," a senior official with Trichy Corporation said.


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