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Maharashtra: From October 1, plastic bag users to be penalised

Environment Min blames BMC for shoddy implementation of plastic ban

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As the use of plastic bag resurfaces, the Maharashtra Environment Department has decided to take strict actions against those carrying banned plastic from October 1.

Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam told DNA on Tuesday that he held a review meeting of his department officials on Tuesday where he told them to take strict actions against those who are violating the plastic ban norms. "We received information on some plastic manufacturers and sellers colluding with local body officials and permitting the sale of banned plastics. We then decided to make 'vigilant teams' that will visit these locations and punish the law breakers. The habitual offenders will be heavily penalised. We are not going to spare any one," Kadam said.

He said this months, the three month deadline given to plastic sellers will end. "In the review meeting, it was also revealed that the 99 per cent plastic traders and shopkeepers had failed to comply to the government decree. Moreover, the plastic ban was not successfully implemented by local authorities. They should implement state government decisions in letter and spirit," the Environment Minister said.

He added that people also need to be more vigilant. "The plastic ban policy was introduced in public interest, to protect the environment. So, the citizens themselves should proactively discourage the use of banned plastic. They should carry cotton and bio-degradable bags when they go grocery shopping. We will start the campaign against plastic use again," the minister added.

When enquired about the shoddy implementation of the plastic ban, BMC officials told DNA that they do not have enough fund to recruit special squads to enforce the ban. "Our funds were used up for Swachata Abhiyan. If the state government is really serious about this, they should demarcate some more fund and let the corporations recruit special squads for the same. We are short staffed already and cannot spare our manpower for this."

CITIZENS' DUTY

  • Environment Minister Ram Kadam says the citizens themselves should proactively discourage the use of banned plastic. 
     
  • He added, they should carry cotton and bio-degradable bags when they go grocery shopping.
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