Girnar Goes Green: Gujarat Bans Plastic In 27 Villages To Combat Pollution

Girnar Goes Green: Gujarat Bans Plastic In 27 Villages To Combat Pollution

This move comes in response to a PIL filed by Advocate Amit Panchal, highlighting the alarming issue of plastic pollution near the Ambaji Temple and Dattatreya Temple on Girnar Hill.

FPJ SURATUpdated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 09:43 PM IST
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The Gujarat government has taken a significant step towards protecting the pristine environment of Girnar mountain, a renowned pilgrimage site and ecologically sensitive zone (ESZ). In an affidavit submitted to the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday, the government announced a complete ban on the use of plastic in 27 villages surrounding the mountain region.

This move comes in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Amit Panchal, highlighting the alarming issue of plastic pollution near the Ambaji Temple and Dattatreya Temple on Girnar Hill. The hearing, conducted before the bench of Chief Justice Sunita Aggarwal and Justice Anirudh Mai, addressed concerns over the detrimental impact of plastic waste on the region's delicate ecosystem.

To enforce the ban effectively, the government has formed six dedicated teams for monitoring. Three teams will be stationed at the key entry points of Ambaji, Dattatreya, and Datar, while the remaining three will patrol the surrounding areas. These teams will comprise personnel from the forest department, police, panchayats (local self-governments), and the Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC). Additionally, six sanitation workers will be deployed to clean the steps leading from Ambaji to the Dattatreya Temple.

The court also took note of the widespread plastic pollution issue in the Kutch desert, urging the government to address this concern as well. It further directed the appointment of a court commissioner to assess the cleanliness of Girnar after a designated period. For long-term waste management solutions, the Gujarat Holy Pilgrimage Development Board will be responsible for inviting tenders for permanent cleaning services in the area.

The affidavit further revealed that during a previous hearing, the court had inquired about the establishment of a monitoring committee for the Girnar ESZ and measures to curb plastic use on Mount Girnar. In response, the Junagadh District Collector informed the court that the monitoring committee has been operational since 2016. As per the latest report, a staggering 12 tonnes of plastic waste had been collected from the mountain, highlighting the severity of the problem and underlining the necessity of the implemented ban.

This initiative by the Gujarat government marks a critical step towards preserving the ecological integrity of Girnar and safeguarding its religious and cultural significance. The complete ban on plastic in the 27 surrounding villages, coupled with the enforcement measures and long-term cleaning solutions, promises a cleaner, more sustainable future for this revered pilgrimage site.

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