The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that the decision regarding prohibition on the manufacture, storage, sale, distribution and use of polythene bags in the state would be taken in six weeks. The NGT Bench was apprised about this during a hearing on the case filed by environmentalist Subash Pandey. The next hearing is on March 3.
Earlier, the central bench of NGT had directed Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments to issue notifications for banning the use and manufacture of plastic bags by October 30, and ensure implementation of the ban from January 1, 2015. In November 2013, NGT had directed Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to ban plastic carry bags within six months.
The government had earlier expressed concern on imposing a total ban on polythene bags. However, NGT maintained, that once a complete ban was imposed by Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the sale and distribution of polybags above 40-micron thickness would not be conducive in MP.
NGT also said the matter regarding the ban on polybags was under consideration before the Supreme Court in a case in which all states have been issued notices for considering a total ban on polybags.
NGT was also informed that some industries were still causing a huge amount of emission beyond the prescribed limits. The counsel appearing for the State Pollution Control Board said notices had been issued to these industries. He informed the NGT bench that notices to two industries, Bansal Iron and Steel and Sonic Biocan, at Mandideep had already been issued.
NGT ordered that show cause notices should be issued to these two industries and they should be penalised under the 'polluter pays' principle for causing pollution.
The government also informed NGT that a revised project report for the construction, installation and operation of the effluent treatment plant (ETP) at Mandideep had been submitted and its technical appraisal would be made within a week.