Three days after the blanket ban on plastic carrybags officially came into force, the Delhi government is still focusing on awareness campaigns instead of launching a crackdown to enforce the decision.
As a result, the use of plastic bags continues in the Capital. The cautious approach of the government is being attributed to the fact that the matter is still in court. The ban came into force on November 23.
“The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay the ban as sought by plastic bag manufacturers. It’s a positive sign for us. But the matter is not closed. The next hearing is likely to take place on November 27. We’re hopeful of going all out to enforce the ban,” said a senior government official.
The state Cabinet approved the ban order on September 11 and the government notified it on October 23, saying it will come into force from November 23. But the government has again given notices to 100-odd units manufacturing plastic bags to shut shop in 15 days.
Till Monday evening, no FIR was lodged for violation of the ban. Nobody has been fined either. “Our focus is on awareness. The chief minister’s message is being aired on FM channels. RWAs are being consulted. Awareness posters have been printed. Traders have been told to put up hoardings, saying they don’t use plastic bags,” said the official.
“The ban is already effective in shopping malls. The last ban in 2009 didn’t prove effective because manufacturing of plastic bags was not stopped. We will now cut the supply lines. This will exhaust the stored material. We will then crack down on the import of plastic,” he said.
“We will first target big markets such as those in South Extension and Lajpat Nagar followed by small traders. Those running tea shops and small kiosks will be our last target,” he said.
The government has modified its earlier order by exempting plastic bags used for lining garbage bins from the ban.