Ban on polythene bags in Chandigarh remains only on paper

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Dec 08, 2015 11:04 IST
The use of polythene bags is rampant in fruit and vegetable markets of the city. (Gurminder Singh/HT Photo)

Even though the Chandigarh administration had banned the use of polythene bags in the City Beautiful almost eight years ago in 2008, it still has a long way to go in implementation of the same.

UT officials claimed that around 6,000-kg of banned plastic was seized during raids conducted in the past two years. Nearly 200 violators were challaned during the same time period.

However, garbage disposal plant authorities at Dadu Majra say they are receiving 1,000-kg of banned plastic at the plant every day.

Taking serious note of plastic menace in the city, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on December 4 announced the levying of fine of `5,000 on anyone found using or dealing with plastic material (bags, cups and plates) in Chandigarh.

The tribunal also slammed the UT administration and civic authorities for not implementing the ban on the plastic material.

Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM east) Danish Ashraf said, “Use of plastic is rampant in apni mandis. The administration will soon lead aggressive drives for challaning violators. People should also cooperate in implementation of the ban. They should make it their new year resolution.”

Meanwhile, RD Sharma, incharge of the Dadu Majra garbage disposal plant, said the MC and administration had carried out drives from time to time but had failed to curb the menace. “Why they cannot take action against the manufacturers of polythene bags?” he questioned.

A visit to the city reveals that polythene bags are being used in apni mandis. Vendors selling fruits and vegetables use polythene bags with impunity. Shopkeepers too use them on daily basis.

In 2008, the Chandigarh administration had imposed a complete ban on polythene bags in the city under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, for banning the use, storage, import, sale, transportation and disposal of polythene and plastic carry bags. Even though the administration took action against the traders in Sector 26 grain market, but the use of polythene bags is still prevalent.

Under the provisions of the ban imposed in the city, violators-including shopkeepers and customers, are punishable with both imprisonment and fine. While the jail term may extend up to five years, a fine of up to Rs 1-lakh can be levied.

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