Travelling? Get your own water bottle

KSRTC, private buses, railways may not sell/serve single-use plastic bottles anymore

Planning to take the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) or private bus any time soon? Well, you better leave behind all the single-use plastic items you were thinking of carrying. This is so that you get used to a new rule, that is likely to be introduced if the KSRTC and railway authorities firm up on a ban on this higly polluting material.

“We have organised a meeting with the KSRTC officials and railway authorities to discuss preventing passengers carrying single-use plastic during the transit,’’ said National Green Tribunal (NGT) monitoring committee for solid waste management chairman Justice Subhash Adi.

Justice Adi said the purpose of the meeting was to keep the surroundings of bus stations and places along railway tracks free from single-use plastic. “We can see a lot of garbage — especially single-use plastic — on road sides and along railway tracks. It is difficult to clear such garbage manually at all these places. We have given two months to KSRTC and the railway department to implement the measures.”

KSRTC and railway authorities are expected to take measures in two months for creating awareness among the passengers on the adverse impact of this plastic on the environment. “The authorities concerned should take measures to prevent the availability of single-use plastic at bus stations and railway stations. Passengers have to bring water bottles from their homes. Drinking water will be available at the railway stations and bus stations,’’ said Justice Adi.


Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) member secretary Srinivasulu said the guidelines would be ready by next week. “The meeting was held on Tuesday. The authorities told us about the measures they want to take. Conductors of KSRTC and private buses would play a key role in implementing this initiative. They have to prevent passengers using plastic to carry food or water. They will be held responsible if any passenger is found carrying single-use plastic during the transit,’’ said Sinivasulu.

Welcoming the decision, Nagaraj G, known as Plog Raja, said that he took part in implementing Bring Own Bottle (BOB) initiative at KSRTC buses last year. “I welcome the NGT State Monitoring Committee on solid waste management and the KSPCB for organizing the meeting with KSRTC and railway authorities. It will reduce usage of single-use plastic drastically. Many tourists and passengers are creating more trash instead of memories of visiting places,’’ said Raja.

Dr Shanthi Tummala, who played a key role in zero garbage initiative at HSR Layout, said: “Our ancestors travelled without carrying plastic. They also attended meetings and functions without carrying or using single-use plastic. They did not create garbage at functions and tourist spots. I welcome this decision.”

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Sagar Biswas

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