Thiruvananthapuram: The Bhagavathy Temple Trust website reads, “Appeal to those offering Ponkala on Feb 20 2019. (1) Go for a Green Ponkala (2) Avoid use of plastic utensils/carry bags…”. The appeal, it seems, was only for devotees.
The festival office area near the Attukal temple, which housed the control room for the police department, office of district administration, health department and city corporation displayed plastic banners. And also in the path towards the temple, where the green protocol is strictly followed, flex boards and plastic banners greeting the devotees were installed by the traders and shopkeepers.
“The plastic banners put up at the festival office were all reused ones, which will be replaced with cloth banners in the next season of the festival. But, the traders had already printed the banner before we could convene a meeting regarding the green protocol. The Trust has also decided to include the clause of ‘only cloth banners’ in tenders to be invited for traders in the next season of the festival,” said Attukal Temple Trust secretary Sisupalan Nair K.
However, the devotees and NGOs seemed to have taken the directive seriously. Majority of devotees carried steel. Sarojini K, a devotee from Peringamala said that she came to know about green protocol from a neighbour and brought steel utensils.
Yuva Cultural Committee at Thycaud distributed free meals in biodegradable palm leaves. “We have been using this even before Corporation introduced green protocol,” said treasurer of the committee, K Aravind.
The health wing of the corporation has identified Manacaud, Kamaleswaram, Kalady, KSEB office Vellayambalam and police headquarters as areas where organisations violated green protocol. The health squad has collected video evidence of violations and notices will be slapped on violators.
From this year onwards, fines will be imposed as per the provisions of the by-law passed by corporation council in April 2018. A fine of Rs 5,000 will be slapped on those who used disposables for distribution of food and water.