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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Bizmen selling banned plastic in Mumbai may have to shut shop soon

mumbai Updated: Jan 05, 2019 23:57 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
Shopkeepers who flout rules currently face a fine ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹25,000 and a three-month jail term
Shopkeepers who flout rules currently face a fine ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹25,000 and a three-month jail term(HT file photo)

In an attempt to increase the severity of punishment for using banned plastic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may start revoking licences of shops and hawking stalls found using or selling plastic banned by the state.

The civic body, however, is awaiting a final approval from the state government.

The development was confirmed by state environment minister Ramdas Kadam. “The decision to revoke licences is on the cards. A final nod from the high-power committee of state government is yet to be received,” he said.

The civic body has formed a team of around 300 inspectors that are deployed across all 24 wards. The team is focusing on confiscating single-use plastic, like carry bags and disposable cutlery. BMC has also asked inspectors to not insist or put pressure on citizens, and instead focus on shopkeepers and hawkers violating the rules.

The move is likely to be opposed by shopkeepers and hawkers, who currently face a fine ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹25,000. As per the current rules, a fine of ₹5,000 and ₹10,000 is levied on first-time and second-time offenders, respectively. Third-time offenders are fined ₹25,000 and face jail time of three months.

Viren Shah, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said, “The state needs to keep a control on manufacturing of the plastic instead of penalising shop owners. This is unacceptable. Shopkeepers will lose their business and several others will be unemployed. The state needs to rethink before revoking licenses.”

On March 23, the Maharashtra government had issued a notification, banning the manufacture, use, sale, and distribution of all single-use plastic items such as bags, spoons, plates, bottles, and thermocol items. The ban came into effect from June 23, 2018.

According to BMC’s data, the civic body has taken action against 4.48 lakh establishments from June 23 to December 31, 2018. It has seized 47,163 kg of plastic and collected fine worth ₹1.99 crore.

First Published: Jan 05, 2019 23:52 IST

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