The Koraput district administration has decided to ban the use of water pouches and polythene carry bags of thickness less than 40 microns during the car festival in the town. Thousands of people, including tribals from neighbouring villages, throng Koraput during the annual festival. They often dispose empty water pouches and polythene bags in the open, polluting the environment.
"Shop-keepers have been asked to cooperate with the administration to make Rath Yatra of Koraput polythene free," said collector (Koraput) Jaya Kumar V.
Priced at a nominal rate of Re 1 and sold openly at different locations across the town, water pouches make the consumers vulnerable to water-borne diseases.
Sources said, to make quick buck during festivals manufacturers often fill tap water and sell them. "These pouches do not have the authentic address of the manufacturers nor do these conform to the safety standards. Apart from polluting the environment and chocking drains, water pouches put the health of consumers at stake as there is no guarantee on the quality of water," the collector said.
"A team of officials, comprising a health officer, have been formed to ensure water pouches are not sold in the town," he added. People have hailed the administration's decision. "It is a good initiative. Miscreants often throw water pouches on the public and it is a big nuisance," said Ajit Patra, a Koraput-based activist.