Ambikapur Municipal Corporation (AMC) is all set to make the city plastic-free with a unique initiative.
AMC will open a first-of-its-kind 'Garbage Cafe' within a few days under which poor people and rag pickers will get free food in exchange for one kilogram of plastic, while breakfast will be provided if half a kilogram of plastic is brought to the cafe.
"The solid waste management of the Ambikapur Municipal Corporation was successful. We have come up with a new provision that if someone brings one kilogram of plastic, he or she will get food for free and on half kilogram of plastic, they will get breakfast free. We have named this 'Garbage Cafe'," said Ambikapur Mayor Ajay Tirkey.
"Our door-to-door waste collection process is already in place. We also re-sell plastic. The initiative will become successful. In the budget, we have allocated Rs 6 lakh for the cafe," he added.
The initiative, however, drew harsh criticism from opposition parties, who claimed that the city is already clean and rag pickers will not get plastic anywhere in the city to get free food.
"Ambikapur Municipal Corporation stood at the second spot in the country in cleanliness. Under the schemes, it is proposed that rag picker would get a free meal for one kilogram of plastic and breakfast for half-kilogram plastic. A man gets Rs 20 in exchange of one kilogram of plastic. The scheme of Dr Raman Singh is already there which provides Rs 1 per kg grain. The initiative would fail soon," said Janmajay Mishra, Opposition Leader in AMC.
But locals are of the view that the city would become cleaner after the initiative is in place.
Nivedita Pandey, a local, said, "The initiative is good. Our city will become cleaner after this."
"Ragpickers used to give garbage to private people in exchange for money. Now, when they give plastic garbage to the government, they will get food in return. The city would become more beautiful after this," said another Ambikapur resident, Manoj said.
( With inputs from ANI )