Kalyan-Dombivli residents to get ‘poli-bhaji’ coupons in exchange for plastic waste

Kalyan-Dombivli residents to get ‘poli-bhaji’ coupons in exchange for plastic waste

Thane: In a bid to create awareness regarding plastic waste disposal, the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation has come up with a unique initiative, wherein locals will be awarded food coupons for collecting such waste.

An official from the waste management department of KDMC informed that the initiative has been launched as a part of the civic body’s ‘Zero Garbage’ policy.

As per the scheme, the citizens have been asked to collect plastic waste and hand it over to the respective officials at a designated collection centre. For every 5 kg of plastic waste, a person will get a ‘poli bhaji’ coupon worth Rs 30.

“Since many years, the town has been facing a garbage menace. We have been trying several measures to address the issue,” the official said.

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“As part of the latest initiative, we have appealed to citizens to collect their plastic waste. If they give 5 kg of plastic waste at a collection centre, they will in return get a coupon for ‘poli-bhaji’ (chapati-vegetables) worth Rs 30,” he said.

The initiative is being supported by Siddhi WasteToGreen Ltd and Trupti Gruha Udyog.

The official informed that the garbage collection centres will be set up in several places in the KDMC limits, including market areas.

The twin towns generate tonnes of plastic waste on a daily basis and the civic body has also roped in private agencies for waste management.

“Our aim is to make Kalyan-Dombivli a zero-waste city and to make it a model for the entire country,” he said.

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Mutant coronavirus strain: All you need to know about the new variant

The new coronavirus strain

Just as the world was set to welcome the New Year, the information about a new coronavirus strain being identified in the United Kingdom (UK) has created an air of panic and worry all around the globe. Even as vaccine development and distribution drives are being conducted in the world, this new mutant variant of the virus has alarmed the experts as well as the government authorities, leading to the imposition of renewed restrictions in various countries. Reuters photos

All about the new strain

The new COVID variant of the SARS-COV-2 virus has been termed as VUI–202012/01, and is said to be 70 per cent more contagious than the already existing one. In London and other parts of the UK, the infection has been spreading like wildfire once again, forcing the authorities to declare a complete lockdown with stricter norms and restrictions. Reuters photos

The initial cases

The first confirmed cases of the new strain of the virus were identified around mid-December this year in the UK, post which, the authorities announced that it was ‘out of control’. However, experts believe that the virus had been around in the region from September itself, but it could not be spotted as ‘there were no large-scale infections’. Reportedly, around 60 per cent of the patients in the UK have now been infected with the new variant. Photo: AFP

Countries that have reported cases of the new variant

Infections related to the new COVID-19 strain are, at present, heavily concentrated in the UK, resulting in several countries to temporarily suspend the arrival of citizens from the region. A number of cases have also been reported in South Africa, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia and Italy, while France recently suspected that the new variant might have entered the Western European country as well. Photo: AFP

Is the new COVID-19 strain worrisome?

Health experts in the UK and US said that the strain seems to infect more easily than others, but there is no evidence yet that it is more deadly. The strain is also concerning because it has so many mutations — nearly two dozen — and some are on the spiky protein that the virus uses to attach to and infect cells. That spike is what current vaccines target. AP Photo

What do experts say?

Patrick Vallance, the British government’s chief scientific adviser, said that the strain ‘moves fast and is becoming the dominant variant’. “I’m worried about this, for sure,” but it’s too soon to know how important it ultimately will prove to be, said Dr Ravi Gupta, who studies viruses at the University of Cambridge in England. “It is right to take it seriously,” said Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London. Reuters photos

Are the present vaccines effective?

Scientists say there’s no evidence that vaccines currently being deployed in the UK – made by Pfizer and BioNtech – or other COVID-19 shots in development will not protect against this variant. “It’s unlikely that this will have anything more than a minor, if any, effect on the vaccine’s effectiveness,” said Adam Finn, a vaccine specialist and professor of paediatrics at Bristol University. According to Jeremy Farrar, director of the London-based research charity Wellcome Trust UK, there is no indication at the moment that the new strain would evade treatments and vaccines. Reuters photos

New COVID-19 strain not detected in India: ICMR

The mutant strain of coronavirus has not been seen in the samples tested from various parts of India, Dr Samiran Panda, director of ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) said informed. Speaking to ANI, Dr Panda said, “We have tested samples collected from the various parts of the country and haven’t seen the mutant strain found in the UK. We shouldn’t think that this will definitely come to India.”

Published at Thu, 24 Dec 2020 03:36:00 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos


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