Five years after the Union ministry of environment and forests banned manufacture, sale and use of plastic bags, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has finally decided to enforce the ban in the city strictly.
The MCG on Monday directed all commercial establishments to stop use of polythene bags by February 15. Officials from the corporation said they will conduct raids at shops to check compliance and issue challans to the offenders.
Interestingly, the MCG’s move has come after residents of DLF Phase 1 and NGO iamgurgaon launched a campaign on Monday to stop use of polythene in shopping complexes.
In the past five years, the corporation has conducted one raid. The raid was carried out in August last year. A team of officials had raided shops in DLF Phase 1, Sector 10 and Sector 56 and seized around 100 kg polythene bags. A fine of Rs 25,000 was imposed on some shop owners. While 16 challans were issued in DLF Phase 1 and Sector 56, six were issued in Sector 10.
When asked why the government did not take firm steps to curb use of polythene during the five-year period since 2011, acting MCG commissioner TL Satyaprakash said they expected the people to act on their own.
“It is not possible to force people not to use certain things. Citizens should consciously follow the law. We can spread awareness. People should realise that it is for their own benefit. We live in a society where everyone is grown-up and educated. We expect people to help the government,” Satyaprakash said.
To ensure maximum compliance of the rule, MCG has decided to take help from RWAs and NGOs to distribute free bags at shopping complexes and encourage people to carry their own bags. It has directed NGO Red Cross Society to help implement the ban in the city.
“We will conduct raids at commercial establishments to stop use of polythene bags. We will also encourage prisoners to make jute bags,” said Shyam Sunder, secretary, Red Cross Society, Gurgaon.
The UP government also banned use of polythene bags from January 22.