With only two days left to enforce the district magistrate's order of a blanket ban on polythene from Monday, the Dehradun district administration officials have neither conducted a survey in the local markets, nor have they called for a meeting with retailers and wholesalers informing about the ban.
The blanket ban on polythene, as of now, will remain a distant dream.
The DM of Dehradun, BVRC Purushottam, accepted that due to the three-tier panchayat elections in the district, the focus is not on the polythene ban. "I have been extremely busy in the panchayat elections and I didn't even remember about the ban. We will certainly not extend the date. Let me see what can be done. Like me, other officers of the administration are busy in the panchayat election slated to begin early next month," Purushottam told HT.
Early last year, the DM enforced a blanket ban on polythene. A strategic plan was proposed involving volunteers, members of civil society, students, locals, resident of welfare associations, and even corporators of the Dehradun municipal corporation (DMC). The plan took off well. However, due to flash floods in June, its enforcement failed and polythene returned to the local markets.
The district administration in September 2013 revived the campaign. But, within a few days, the drive failed again. This is the third time that the district administration had planned to impose the ban. With the panchayat elections, it seems difficult to implement the ban.
According to the order of the DM issued in January 2013, along with polythene, plastic plates, glasses and even spoons were banned. In this accord, he also ordered to charge a penalty on locals as well as shopkeepers of `500 if they are found using or selling polythene.