Puri: The district administration along with various social outfits and volunteers Saturday carried out beach cleaning at around 50 places on the Puri coast to observe the International Coastal Cleanup Day-2020.
The cleaning exercise was carried out as part of the Mo Beach programme of the Puri district administration.
“The coastal cleaning exercise was carried out at 10 places on Puri beach and equal number of places each on Konark and Krushnaprasad beaches. At least five places each was cleaned at Brahmagiri, Astarang, Gop and Kakatpur during the drive,” said an official of the district administration.
According to him, at least 10 volunteers and a nodal officer conducted the beach cleaning at each place on the coast. Officials of various departments, members of women self-help groups and volunteers from Nehru Yuva Kendra actively participated in the programme. “The volunteers followed social distancing norms and wore masks during the beach cleaning programme to keep the novel coronavirus at bay,” said the official.
It is worth mentioning here that the Puri district administration had organized the world’s biggest beach cleaning programme to observe last year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day. Around 20,000 volunteers had participated in the programme covering over 100km coastline in the district.
Many celebrities including some movie actors like Bidyut Jamwal had participated in the programme and urged the locals and tourists to keep the shoreline garbage-free.
In a related development, Odisha Paryavaran Sangrakshan Abhiyan (OPSA) Trust along with Youth Environmentalist Programme Trust, Mumbai observed the day at Devi Turtle Nesting Zone in Astarang.
Many youths and like-minded people from different places participated in the coastal cleanup exercise, sources said.
International coastal cleanup exercise is the largest effort by the volunteers for ocean health. The International Coastal Cleanup Day is observed on every third Saturday of September.
People from various walks of life gather at beaches, shores, rivers, waterways and underwater dive sites to extract trash and record information on the debris collected.
The coastal cleanup exercise at Astarang was carried out at Jahania beach, Daluakani beach and Kadua river mouth area to make the localities trash-free. The three localities were littered with garbage during the recent floods in Puri district, sources said.
OPSA Trust sources claimed that the Devi Turtle Nesting Zone has around 100 tonnes of wastes. “The OPSA will continue its efforts for next few weeks to remove the garbage,” said OPSA managing trustee Soumya Ranjan Biswal.
Wildlife Activist Akash Ranjan Rath along with local environmentalists Bipin Dash and Prasar Khuntia joined the event and encouraged the volunteers. The event was coordinated by Biju Patnaik wildlife Award winner conservationist Bichitranand Biswal, sources added.