The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday imposed a ban on plastic items like carry bags, plates and cutlery in towns on the banks of the River Ganga like Haridwar and Rishikesh, which the activists said would be difficult to implement.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also banned the sale, manufacture and storage of such items along the Ganga till Uttarkashi.The Green Tribunal also imposed ~5,000 fine on those violating the order and said action will be taken against erring officials too.Lokendra Bisht from Uttarakashi, who is associated with Ganga Vichar Manch, said the plastic ban will alone not serve the purpose and is difficult to implement. District magistrate of Haridwar Deepak Rawat “will ensure implementation of the new directives”. The order came two years after the tribunal imposed a blanket ban on plastic from Gangotri to Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The ban, however, did not give desired results as the local administration failed to implement the orders. In fact, the tribunal issued four orders in two years for safeguarding the Ganga that originates from Gaumukh in Uttarakhand. It had earlier banned construction within 100 meters of Ganga from Haridwar to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. The NGT passed the direction after noting that despite its earlier order, plastic was being used in these areas causing pollution to the river. Not only private persons even government organisations such as Postal Department failed to implement the order. Officials in a response to a right to information application admitted that they were storing Ganga water in plastic cans. The department sells Ganga water across the country through post offices. The green tribunal was hearing a plea of environmentalist M C Mehta, who had filed a petition seeking cleaning of Ganga in the Supreme Court in early 80s. His petition was transferred to the tribunal.