A large number of gutka packets strewn at Colva and Calangute beaches in Goa were recovered by participants of a beach clean-up drive undertaken on Sunday as a part of India's G20 Presidency, an official said.
The drive was organised by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, Department of Environment and Climate Change, Goa State Biodiversity Board and Goa State Climate Change cell.
Indian Navy personnel also took part in the beach clean-up drive at Colva in South Goa district and Calangute in North Goa district.
State Environment Secretary Arun Kumar Mishra said gutka sachets were among the litter found at the beaches.
“I will issue instructions that either these sachets be processed or we will take legal remedies (against these product sellers),” he said.
Mishra said the state government will certainly take measures to control this.
Speaking about the central government's initiative, Mishra said in 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made this as an agenda, nobody could believe that cleanliness could be an agenda.
“But, it is established that cleanliness is an important agenda for the country,” he added.
Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Director Dharmendra Kumar Gupta, who was personally present to oversee the drive at the Colva beach Goa, said, “During garbage collection, we saw there are lot of plastic bottles and plastic fishing nets on the beach."
Indian Navy's Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area, Rear Admiral Vikram Menon, said it (such campaign) is very satisfying, but at one level it is disheartening to see "we are not doing enough, as a community, to look after our beaches."
“These are such beautiful beaches. We can't expect everything to be done by authorities. We have to see as an individual that beaches are not littered,” he said.
Goa State Biodiversity Board member secretary Pradip Sarmokadam said it is the responsibility of every individual to clean-up the beaches. “It is not that we litter a beach every time and contractors will clean it,” he said.
Sarmokadam said littering has to be controlled at the source.
“We found many gutka packets lying here and there. Some action needs to be taken on it,” he added.