From this Monday, make sure you have a cloth or jute bag for shopping – the civic body has begun its crackdown on shopkeepers, markets and shopping centres using plastic bags less than 50 microns thick.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has also asked citizens to cut down on the use of plastic bags, which choke several nullahs in the city, causing floods.
Hindustan Times, in its campaign, Lets Make Our City Better (April 16, 2012) had pointed out how the use of plastic bags should be avoided, and the mentioned several alternatives to plastic bags.
“The main reason for the 2005 floods in Mumbai is the uncontrolled use of plastic. We don’t want this to happen again, and are hence relaunching the campaign,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.
A campaign involving three of the civic body’s departments — shops and establishments, licence and market — will be carried out for the next month to make the city free of plastic bags less than 50 microns thick, and ensure shops charge customers while providing them bags more than 50 microns thick.
Six teams comprising ten officers each from the shops and establishment department will conduct raids on all Mumbai markets. Ten licence tem departments have been assigned to look after shops and hawkers, while the flying squads of the market department will act independently. The surveillance squads under the leadership of assistant commissioners will also be restored.
“We are working on three point agenda of awareness, appeal and implementation. Ward officers have been asked to hold meetings with the representatives of shopkeepers and hawkers, while the Deputy Municipal Commissioners have been asked to conduct meetings with traders’ representatives,” said Adtani.
Also, manufacturers of plastic bags will be fined and prosecuted if they are found producing banned plastic bags (less than 50 microns thick).