Govt grapples with notifying plastic ban
A fortnight after the state cabinet passed an order imposing a blanket ban on the manufacture, sale, storage and use of plastic bags in the Capital, the government is yet to issue a notification.
Officials say the notification will take "a week or two" because of "some procedural delays" and "practical issues".
A notification was expected within a week of the cabinet order. The ban will be enforced only seven days from the date of notification in accordance with a Delhi high court order.
Sanjiv Kumar, principal secretary (environment), told Hindustan Times on Wednesday, "The notification can be issued next week. It can come this week as well. We're constantly working on it. We need to issue a one-month notice to plastic manufacturing companies in accordance with a court order."
"This (enforcement of the ban) is a multi-department activity. Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the three municipal corporations, environment and labour departments and sub-divisional magistrates will be responsible for enforcing the ban. DPCC and SDMs will act as prosecution agencies," said an official.
The markets are also not giving the right signals.
Ashok Randhawa of Sarojini Nagar mini market association said, "Our 300-odd shops consumed 100 kg of plastic bags. After the cabinet order, it has come down but only by 25%."
He said use of plastic would not stop till the manufacturing was banned.
"Traders are smart. Most are not getting their shops' names printed on bags for fear of penal action."
There is economics involved as well.
"A plastic bag costs Rs. 1, while a jute bag costs Rs. 8. We will be either suffer losses or pass on the burden to buyers, which will again not augur well for us," he said.
Similar responses came from markets in Kamla Nagar, Khan Market, Defence Colony and Mayur Vihar.
Praveen Khandelwal of Confederation of All India Traders' Association said, "We support the ban but the government is not providing a reasonable and affordable alternative. About 20 lakh bags are used every day in the Capital. The 5,000-odd manufacturing factories will be shut, rendering thousands jobless."
About 8,000 MT municipal solid waste is generated every day in Delhi.
"It's not practically feasible to line garbage bins with paper," said Pritam Pal Singh, a resident of Mayur Vihar.
"Items such as meat, sweets and curd cannot be sold wrapped in paper. Groceries are also sold best in plastic bags to ensure freshness," he said.