Civic officials are finding it difficult to implement the recent order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) banning the use of polythene and plastic material in Haridwar and Rishikesh due to resistance from some traders. Traders said the guidelines were not clear and they did not know what to do with the old stock of poly bags. But officials were determined to carry out inspections to check their use.
Earlier this week Mustafa, a tax accountant with the Haridwar Municipal Corporation (HMC) lodged a case against Jnaneshwar Traders for throwing kerosene on municipal commissioner Vipra Trivedi when she was conducting inspections for poly bags.
Following the tribunal orders, a municipal corporation team raided a few shops near Har Ki Pauri on Monday. Mukesh Agarwal, a shopkeeper at Jnaneshwar Traders allegedly tried to immolate himself by pouring kerosene on himself and also on the team members including municipal commissioner Vipra Trivedi. She had led the inspection drive herself along with other team members of Municipal Corporation and had slapped a fine of `5000 on him for selling the banned plastic item.
Undeterred by the assault, MNA Vipra Trivedi said, “The NGT orders shall be implemented and we will continue the inspection drive. We are heading to a meeting of Pollution Control Board and the matter shall be discussed there. As such the proposed hearing of NGT is on July 22. And we have to reply this week what steps we have taken to implement the order.”
Many roadside vendors and small traders in vegetable markets held at various places in the city complained they were unaware of the order and asked how they would dispose of the old stocks.
Sandeep Kumar, a vendor of Jwalapur said, “We have read in the newspapers about the order. But guidelines are still not clear. How are we going to dispose the huge stocks held by us.”
The NGT order had come on a complaint filed by environmentalist M C Mehta against pollution of the Ganga. He held the Uttarakhand Pollution control board, district administration and Municipal Corporation responsible for the river’s pollution.
What does NGT order state?
The tribunal ordered that officials of these bodies would take rounds of flood plains and ghats of the Ganga to ensure that no plastic was used for selling commodities and they could take the assistance of the police in the matter.
“The Municipal Corporation, Pollution Control Board and Police shall within one week from today place appropriate sized dustbins near the shops and it would be mandatory for people to throw waste in dustbins only. The waste shall be collected on daily basis and taken at appropriate site and dumped according to MSW Rules, 2000,” the bench said.