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Plastic waste in Himalayas block drains in northern India

Published: June 12, 2018

STORY: Plastic and domestic waste in India’s northern Himalayan town of Shimla has left drains and roads blocked, causing troubles, complained local residents on Monday (June 11).

People in the vehicles usually dump plastic waste down in the valley or on roads which accumulates and causes trouble during the rainy season when the blockage increases the area of drainage flow, weakening house foundations and destroying farmlands, said a local resident, Veerbahadur.

The plastic pollution also threatens the commuters on winding roads in the hills which can be seen clogged with garbage lying on the roadside, making driving risky in the hills.

Authorities have been trying to clear up the garbage, open blocked drains and roads. Workers were seen clearing plastic wastes and other garbage accumulated on the roadside and the drains. National Highway Supervisor of a Private Company, Pradeep Kumar said that they clean the valley regularly but it gets back to the same state within two to three days.

A 2015 report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said Indian cities produced more than 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day. Of this, 9,000 tonnes were collected and processed, while the rest littered the streets and drains, or was dumped in landfill. In 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted that cows – a sacred animal for many Indians – were dying after consuming plastic.

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