Plastic bags being used openly in Gurgaon | india | Hindustan Times
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Plastic bags being used openly in Gurgaon

india Updated: Sep 11, 2012 23:50 IST

Despite the Haryana government's January 2011 directive for a blanket ban on polythene bags in the state, these are being openly used in markets, malls, grocery stores and by vegetable vendors.

According to officials of the pollution department, this year, no raids have been conducted at malls across the city.

They, however, claimed that all mall retailers were following the rule due to several drives conducted in the past.

However, the department has been able to collect only Rs. 50,000 as fine from individuals, retailers, vendors and others. The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has collected a fine of Rs. 2.35 lakh since 2010.

If department officials are to be believed, they chose to spare small vegetable vendors and grocery stores on humanitarian grounds.

"If we fine a bigger player, it acts as a deterrent for the rest," said an official.

But it is a common sight to see shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar or the vegetable market in old Gurgaon packing eatables in polythene bags.

"In Sadar Bazaar, shopkeepers always give me plastic bags. I don't think they know about the ban," said Neha Bhatia, a IT professional.

Things are no different in posh sectors of the city. There are stores in the swanky Mall Mile that continue to pack purchases in polythene bags. Also, many buyers are oblivious that such a ban exists.

Asked if she could be fined Rs. 250 for taking a polythene bag from the retailer, a mall visitor, said, "I will use what the shopkeepers give. How am I supposed to follow any such rule?"

Balraj Ahlawat, Gurgaon regional officer, HSPCB said, "We conduct biannual awareness drives at market places and distribute cotton and jute bags."

Meanwhile, Haryana principal secretary, urban local bodies department, Ram Niwas on Tuesday asked all deputy commissioners to take steps to check littering on roads in urban areas and fine those throwing polythene bags on the roads.