With shards of beer bottles posing a threat to wild animals in Mount Abu, the district administration of Mount Abu launched an initiative to promote beer cans instead of bottles.
Sub Divisional Officer (Mount Abu) Ravindra Goswami told PTI that empty beer bottles were usually dumped in forest areas and water bodies in large numbers.When Nakki Lake was cleaned sometime back, thousands of empty beer bottles were recovered from it and three tractors had to be used to shift the bottles, he added.
Glass shards from broken bottles are also found scattered in the Mount Abu wildlife sanctuary area, which harms wild animals like sloth bears and causes problems for tourists.The officer said a meeting was held with liquor shop licensees recently where they agreed upon the new arrangement which was taken in the interest of ecology and tourism.
There are five licensees in Mount Abu and on an average, 40,000-50,000 bottles are sold every month.
"There are companies which sell beer in both bottles and cans and we have requested the licensees to push the sale of cans. Bottles will be sold of only those companies which do not sell cans," the official said.
He said the customer will be charged an extra Rs 20 for each bottle which will be refunded if the empty bottles are returned. They would be suitably disposed of later, Goswami said, adding that ragpickers will be given an incentive for collecting unbroken bottles.
He said the administration aimed to bring down the use of beer bottles by at least half in the next few months.In another initiative, the district authorities and the Forest Department also decided to ban the use of plastic from August 15. The move aimed at protecting the environment and wildlife.
The ban will cover plastic carry bags, boxes, thermocol cups, plates and other disposable plastic items.Similarly, packaged water bottles will also be banned.
Automated water dispensing machines will be installed to provide cheap drinking water. Mount Abu, a hill station at a height of 1,220 metres in the Aravalli mountain range, falls under the category of eco-sensitive zones.