Siliguri: The state Tourism department has taken up the initiative to form a committee very soon and award the Durga Puja organisers of this year according to their performance in making citizens aware about the harmfulness of the usage of plastic carry bags and the importance to abolish them.”The Tourism Department is very serious about sincere initiatives in abolishing single-use plastic bags from Siliguri within the month of October before the Durga Puja,” says Goutam Deb, the state Tourism minister. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Tourism department had organised a fresh campaign on Friday titled “Beat the Plastic Usage.” The Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF) had participated in the campaign along with various other renowned personalities from medical practitioners, NGOs to teachers and professors from different colleges and schools.The participants of the campaign had discussed the disadvantages of using single-use plastic carry bags. The effect of the usage of plastics is very harmful, especially in the case of infants and foetuses, said a medical practitioner. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNot only does health get affected but also the environment is polluted. After the Kerala floods, many bridges and places had been found full of non-biodegradable plastics and polystyrenes, stated an eminent professor.”We have to stand together and with our collective efforts and strictly enforce the laws of not producing, using and storing simple plastic bags in the vicinities of both Darjeeling as well as Jalpaiguri districts,” stated Ashim Bose, the programme coordinator of HNAF. The municipal corporation had fined around Rs 4,000 this year till date for using plastic bags.Previously, the corporation had also banned 450 kilos of plastic bags.When asked about the alternatives of plastic bags, various ideas of using jute bags, bags made of cotton as well as the use of clay bowls in sweet shops replacing plastics came up from the different participants.”The use of plastic bags had reduced considerably these days and this has been possible because of the peoplecooperating with the government which is highly appreciable. Besides, I would also request the people to plant more trees and to water those planted by the government alongside the streets and make the environment eco-friendly,” stated Deb.The five days during Durga Puja have been specifically targeted for analysing the performance of the different puja organisers because the entire festival is a major attraction where people from various parts of the city visit the Puja pandals.