The ban on the use of plastic/polythene carry bags was enforced in the city on Friday with the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) issuing nine challans on manufacturers and those using the banned material.
Among those challans included two manufacturers in the focal point area of the city and seven shopkeepers in Sarhandi Bazaar, Dhak Bazaar and Leela Bhawan Market. MC Commissioner PS Gill has called an emergency meeting on Saturday to take stock of the use of plastic and polythene bags in the city and will constitute teams to conduct raids in the city. Gill said earlier the civic body did not have government directions to crack down on the plastic bags users. “With enactment of new ordinance, we will now carry out raids to make city plastic and polythene-free,” he said.
Gill said plastic bags were the main reason for chocked sewerage, besides causing damage to environment. “With the government serious on curbing its use, people should come forward and shun its use. Otherwise, we will have to penalise the violators,” said Gill.
As per the new rules laid down under Punjab Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacturer, Usage and Disposal) Control (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, a manufacturer of the plastic bags may face imprisonment from three months to one year or Rs 25,000 fine or both while users, including traders and shopkeepers, may face a fine up to Rs 2,000.
MC’s chief sanitary inspector Bhagwant Singh, who led three teams along with executive engineer, said all those who have been challaned today have been summoned before the MC commissioner who will decide on the penalty as per the new rules.
He said among the two manufacturers challaned, one was manufacturing plastic bags while other had a huge stock of the banned material in his factory storeroom.
Among the shopkeepers who were challaned include Luxmi Bhujia, Ambey Bhujia and Pal General Store in Sarhindi Bazaar and Rawalpindi Book Store in Leela Bhawan Market.