Ooty is one of the most famous and visited tourist destinations in India. It is situated in the beautiful state of Tamil Nadu and is a beautiful hill station town. It comes under the local authority of Nilgiri District Administration. Even after being so rich in natural heritage, Ooty being a tourist destination has faced a lot of pollution in recent years. To overcome this problem, Nilgiri District Administration has announced a ban on the sale of single-use plastic items. Products like water bottles, soft drinks bottles and plastic wrapper packaged food items along the highways which leads to the district’s major towns. The said ban will be effective from August, 15. The ban followed after a Madras High Court passed an order in May 2019 directing the Collector to prohibit entry of all kinds of plastic packages into the district.
The order of the court came in when residents of Nilgiri filed a petition alleging that because of the huge number of tourists, the hill station is getting a garbage dump. The residents have been outraged for long for the behaviour of tourists around the town, who come from other places to visit their town, and when they are done exploring the beauty, they leave behind a huge chunk of plastic and other waste that pollute the hill station’s eco-system.
As a result of the petition, the order of the high court came in asking the collector to ban single-use plastic within the limits of Nilgiri. The single-use plastic items will not be allowed to be sold beyond the entry points of the Nilgiri such as Burliar, Kunjapanai, Kakkanallah, Nadugani, Thalur, Solladi, Pattavayal, Nambiar Kunnu, and Geddai. Further, tourists will not be allowed to carry such banned items along with them beyond the said limits.
Further, local authorities have been asked to use recyclable plastic containers to carry water. Also, RO purifiers and water stations should be set up along the highways leading to Ooty hill station.
In a recent report, it has been found that the ban has also been extended by the Madras High court to cover another prominent hill station town, Kodaikanal in Dindigul district.
Ooty is a well-visited hill station. Approximately around 5 million people annually come to Ooty for tourism purposes. The town has been well developed since it’s inception within the mountains to accommodate tourists and provide facilities of all kind. The hill station is around 200-years-old and habitats around 80,000 permanent residents. However, it needs to be taken care of that the city doesn’t lose it’s a beauty to pollution just like many cities of India and the world have.