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Blanket ban on plastic in city

Next time you go out to buy grocery or fruits and vegetables, do carry a jute or cloth bag with you. HT reports.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2011 00:16 IST
HT Correspondent

Next time you go out to buy grocery or fruits and vegetables, do carry a jute or cloth bag with you.

Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved a blanket ban on manufacture, sale, storage and usage of plastic bags. This means absolutely no plastic bags. Though the ban has been in place for the past two years, it wasn't enforced effectively.

With the government's renewed will to impose a blanket ban, senior Delhi government officials said the Capital will become a 'plastic free state'.

"The civic agencies and Delhi Police have been instructed to strictly enforce the ban," chief minister Sheila Dikshit said.

The government was reluctant to enforce the ban and sat on a high court order for close to five months before it was forced to implement it. The court had ordered the Delhi government to ban plastic bags in August 2008. But it implemented the ban only in January 2009 after the petitioner of the PIL threatened to move contempt of court motion against officials.

Even after banning it, enforcement was just a token gesture with a handful of token enforcement drives at marketplaces against using plastic bags. Of late, however, the environment department has swung into action, directing all civic agencies to raid retail and wholesale markets.

Violators can be fined from Rs 10,000 to R1 lakh under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.

Officials said there were hundreds of units manufacturing plastic bags and they would be closed after a notification is issued.

"We will try our best to implement the Cabinet decision. We want Delhi to be plastic free," Delhi chief secretary PK Tripathi said.