Civic bodies intensify anti-polythene drive
The three municipal corporations of Delhi have intensified their anti-plastic drive, seizing at least 3,000 kilos of banned polythene bags of less than 50 microns in thickness, and recovering Rs. 6.5 lakh as penalty since the beginning of August.
Chief secretary Vijay Kumar Dev and environment department secretary Sanjeev Khirwar had on August 2 held a workshop on the ‘effective implementation of the Plastic Waste Management Rules (2016)’ for the two municipal commissioners, district magistrates and secretary of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
Senior officials from the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), the Indore Municipal Corporation, which was adjudged the ‘Cleanest City’ in Swachh Survekshan rankings 2019, Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) and the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), shared their knowledge with the Delhi civic officials.
“Since then, we have raided wholesale markets selling polybags, illegal polythene manufacturing units and recycling factories running without authorisation in areas such as Laxmi Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Yamuna Vihar, Ghazipur and Kondli,” said Pradeep Khandelwal, chief engineer of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). EDMC seized about 500 kgs of polythene and collected Rs. 1 lakh in fine from August 2 to 16.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) confiscated 2000 kgs of polythene and recovered Rs. 2.5 lakh from areas such as Pushp Vihar, Sangam Vihar and Panchsheel. The North corporation seized 500 kgs of polythene and collected Rs. 3 lakh in fine from Narela, Mundka and Tikri Kalan.
A senior North corporation official, who did not wish to be named, said, “Finer points were ironed out at the August 2 meeting such as the formation of anti-polythene raiding teams.”
“Besides, the MoEF officers made us aware of the various technologies that are available to dispose of plastic waste and CRRI told us about using legacy plastic waste to re-carpet roads,” he said.
A South Delhi Municipal Corporation officer said, “Extensive educational and awareness activities are also being carried out. For instance, we are distributing jute bags at weekly bazaars in areas like RK Puram.”
Ravi Agarwal, director of NGO Toxics Link, said such anti-polythene drives have been held sporadically in the past but failed to make an impact. “I believe cities in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and even Chhattisgarh are doing much better than Delhi in this regard. Delhi should showcase a model for emulating for other towns and cities,” he said.