The Noida authority board on Monday approved a proposal seeking a complete ban on the use of plastic bags which are 40 microns or less in thickness.
Once the proposal is approved by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet and notified, the authority will enforce the ban on ground.
“Authority staff will levy a penalty of Rs. 5,000 if anyone is found using a plastic bag thinner than 40 microns. If a person is found violating the ban a second time, the authority will charge a penalty of Rs.500 per day. A third-time violation would lead to imprisonment of three months,” said Saumya Srivastava, deputy chief executive officer (DCEO) of the Noida authority.
The New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) Non-degradable Garbage/Polythene (control) Bylaws, 2015, has been drafted in line with UP Plastic and Non-Biodegradable (Regulation of use and disposal) Act, 2000, officials said. Srivastava said they have studied the laws on plastic ban earlier introduced in Delhi, Goa, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh for the purpose.
The proposal was approved in the meeting that took place in the authority office in Sector 6 and was also attended by Uttar Pradesh industries department joint secretary Devi Prasad. The authority said it has sought immediate approval of the proposal from the state government for its early implementation.
“The joint secretary assured us that all proposals, including the one on plastic bags will be approved and notified without delay. He assured all help in expediting proposals,” Srivastava said.
Authority officials said banning plastic bags will go a long way in helping reduce pollution. Once the law is notified, teams will be constituted to enforce it, they added.
The proposed ban seeks to reduce generation of non-biodegradable waste that remains lying around on streets, markets, vacant spaces, and green zones in the absence of any sanitary landfill site in Noida. Almost all the 14 major and the many small drains across the city are choked with plastic bags and other non-biodegradable waste. Residents living along these drains often complain of foul smell.
In 2012, some residents had themselves started a campaign against the use of plastic bags on their own level. The campaign was launched by Anoop Khanna, president of the district chemist association. As part of it, residents approached vendors and motivated them to use cloth bags.
“As a result of our campaign, almost all pharmacy shop owners stopped the use of plastic bags. Owners of many big shops in Sector 18 and Atta market, apart from Mother Dairy, also joined us. We also distributed cloth bags,” said Khanna.