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Green Activists to Build a Taj Mahal with Plastic Waste in Agra

The Taj city daily generates around a thousand tons of civic garbage, most of it plastic and polythene waste

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Green activists will attempt to construct a Taj Mahal with plastic and polythene waste at the Etmauddaula viewpoint park on the Yamuna river here.

At a workshop here by NGO Unfold Foundation to train activists on making eco-bricks with plastic bottles, members of the River Connect Campaign announced they would work on putting together a model of the Taj Mahal with these building blocks. The efforts could take around six months.

Eco-bricks are made of plastic bottles that are stuffed with polythene bags and sealed.

“This is a highly cost effective waste-control exercise based on common sense. We collect used plastic bottles, pack them with packing material, gutkha pouches and polythene, make the bottles air tight and seal them. The bottles become rock solid and are good enough to last 500 years,” Dr Meeta Kulshreshtha, a surgeon, and coordinator of Unfold Foundation, told IANS.

"Agra gets only a trickle. Since there is no storage facility in Agra, the monsoon water goes waste," river activist Harendra Gupta said.
Taj Mahal(Agra), Pixabay

“If one person can give us one bottle filled with waste material, in one year, we will have 20 lakh such eco-bricks to build any solid structure,” Programme Convener Harvijay Bahia said.

River Connect Campaign member Chaturbhuj Tiwari said: “Every week when we clean a patch of Yamuna riverbed, we gather heaps of polythene and used plastic material. If we can manage to fill all this in plastic bottles and jars, we could not only help solve a major urban problem, but have material ready for a structure to be used by the public. Tree guards, benches and stools are among the products that can be made.”

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The Taj city daily generates around a thousand tons of civic garbage, most of it plastic and polythene waste.

“If each household starts filling up bottles with used polythene bags and sliced plastic, we could easily prevent pollution of rivers and water bodies and also avoid choking of drains and sewer lines,” social activist Shravan Kumar Singh said. (IANS)

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Less Noisy Diwali in Agra this Year, but Pollution Level Goes Up

Air pollution has not come down, but the noise level was definitely controlled and within safe limits

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Agra
Green activist Shravan Kumar Singh said the quality air index in Agra early Monday morning was 380. Pixabay

A less noisy Diwali was observed in Agra this year. While the sale of firecrackers witnessed a dip, the pollution levels did not abate.

“Past midnight there were few sounds of crackers bursting. It was such a relief this year. Earlier, people used to burst crackers the whole night,” said Vijay Nagar colony resident Sudhir Gupta, a financial consultant.

Green activist Shravan Kumar Singh said the quality air index early Monday morning was 380. “But this was much better than Delhi, which touched a hazardous level.” Air pollution has not come down, but the noise level was definitely controlled and within safe limits, Singh noted.

The SPM and RSPM (suspended particulate matter) level continued to remain alarmingly high. The recent measures to green up the borders of the city to filter the winds from the west, have not yielded much result.

“The worst sufferer of air pollution has been the Taj Mahal, hit by dust and mosquitoes that leave greenish excreta on its surface,” said environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya.

“For sure the awareness level is rising. Children have been sensitised in schools and we could see the message being translated into action, not wholly but in part. A positive beginning has been made,” said Yamuna activist Rahul Raj Savita.

Agra
A less noisy Diwali was observed in Agra this year. While the sale of firecrackers witnessed a dip, the pollution levels did not abate. Pixabay

“Since Monday morning, there was hardly any firecracker bursting. Either people have no money to buy firecrackers, or they have become sensitive and concerned about the pollution,” added activist Deepak Rajput.

The district authorities had opened 17 markets for firecrackers this year, but after Saturday evening’s fire at the Sultanpura pataka bazar, the police and the fire brigade were put on alert, and a large number of people chose to play safe.

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But, whatever the reason, the city seemed to have responded to the government appeal for a cleaner and safer festival. (IANS)