A vegetable vendor was arrested in Sector-26 grain market on Tuesday for carrying 52 polythene bags. The accused has been identified as Suresh Gupta, 55, a resident of Kishangarh. The police said they were patrolling in the grain market when they saw Gupta in possession of polythene bags. When confronted, Gupta claimed that he was not aware of ban on the polythene bags.
The police arrested him under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the IPC. The accused, however, was released on bail.
The police said after the UT administration notified the ban on plastic material (bags, cups and plates), they had the authority to arrest the violators. The police said they would send a challan to a court and the latter would decide whether the accused should be penalised or sent to jail.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on December 4 had ordered levying `5,000 fine on anyone found using or distributing plastic material (bags, cups and plates) in Chandigarh.
The tribunal also slammed the UT administration and civic authorities for not implementing the ban on plastic bags.
The Chandigarh administration had banned polythene bags in 2008. But the ban remained only on papers.
Under the provisions of the ban imposed in the city, violators, including shopkeepers and customers, are punishable with both imprisonment and fine. Maximum jail term for the offence is five years, along with provision of fine up to Rs 1 lakh.
Who can be fined or face criminal case
The administration will fine shopkeepers, vendors and customers for using plastic bags. However, there is no ban on plastic packaging materials such as packets of bread, milk and chips.
Inspectors of various departments have been authorised to issue challans.
If a violator fails to pay the fine on the spot, a case will be registered against him or her.
Beware, Rs 5,000 fine comes into force
The UT administration on Wednesday issued a formal notification announcing a complete ban on use of plastic bags, plates and cups. Anyone found using plastic material in Chandigarh will be slapped a fine of Rs 5,000.
After the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on December 4, the administration had initiated a drive on December 12 to check the use of polythene, but the drive lasted only for a day. The administration challaned 77 violators, who were slapped a fine of Rs 500.
The district magistrate on Wednesday issued a notification to make Chandigarh a plastic-free city. Now, any person found storing, purchasing, dealing with or distributing plastic items shall be liable to pay Rs 5,000 environmental compensation.