The Goa government has decided to ban plastic bags in the coastal state from May next year, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said today. He said the government also aims to make the state free of garbage by December 19 next year, for which the required steps are being taken. “From May 30 next year, there will be a complete ban on plastic in the state. We are making this announcement in advance so that all those who have made it as their economic activity should not complain at the last minute,” he said. The ban would include plastic bags and also some other items, Parrikar said. He was speaking at a function to mark the Goa Liberation Day. The state was liberated on this day in 1961 from the Portuguese rule. Parrikar said that ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Nitol Goem’ (Clean Goa) are on top of the government’s list of priorities. The initiative to make Goa free of garbage has already begun. The Solid Waste Management Corporation has been set up and a garbage treatment plant has been installed at Saligao, he said.
The laws required to make Goa free of garbage would be notified by January 26 next year, he said. To empower the panchayats to take up work of garbage collection, the government has also approved to increase the grants for these grassroot-level bodies, the CM said. Claiming that the state’s economy is also dependent on cleanliness, Parrikar said, “If we keep our surroundings and beaches clean, more tourists will visiting the state.” Raising concern over the number of deaths in road accidents, the chief minister blamed it on lack of discipline while driving, error in road engineering and dearth of fear of being caught while violating the traffic rules. “We have decided to chalk out a roadmap to curtail the number of accidents on roads with the help of NGOs,” he said. He said the target is ‘zero-accidents’ and no death on roads. “But that it impractical so the aim is to reduce the number by half in the next two years,” the CM said. Parrikar also said that infrastructural works worth Rs 25,000-30,000 crore would be implemented in the state during the next five years, including the construction of bridges across Mandovi and Zuari rivers.