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Mass cleaning programme launched

Mass cleaning programme launchedCollector S. Natarajan has launched a mass cleaning exercise to make Rameswaram island clean and an ideal destination for spiritual tourism.

Joined by school and college students, voluntary and non-governmental organisations such as Vivekananda Kendra and Hand-in-hand, he launched the programme at Arichamunai, the eastern tip of the island near Dhanushkodi, on Saturday under solid waste management programme.

After the dismal show in the Swachch Survekshan sanitation rankings, securing 268th slot and figuring in the bottom of 28 towns/cities surveyed in Tamil Nadu, the district administration and the municipality are taking efforts to make the island clean, green and free from plastic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently unveiled a project, drawn by Vivekanandra Kendra. With the help of non-governmental organisations, the Kendra has identified nine verticals and 27 goals to conserve the heritage-rich island and preserve its ecology at a cost of ₹ 24.02 crore.

As a part of the project, an island development committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the Collector.He urged pilgrims and tourists visiting the island to avoid using plastic materials and help the municipality keep the town clean. He advised tourists and pilgrims to avoid private vehicles and use public transport while visiting Dhanushkodi and Arichamunai. He said the district administration had launched cleaning operations throughout the district involving workers of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to prevent dengue and other vector borne diseases ahead of the north-east monsoon.

Assistant Director (panchayats) A. Chelladurai, Revenue Divisional Officer Selvi Baby and Green Rameswaram coordinator Saraswathi were present.