Despite ban, single-use plastic still seen in markets across cityUpdated: Dec 09, 2019 00:49 IST
Seventeen months after the state imposed a ban on use of plastic, its implementation remains poor, with the blue squads in charge of raiding shops, virtually disappearing from the streets.
On March 23, 2018, 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. The ban came into effect on June 23 last year. While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seized over 17 tonnes of plastic in the first two months of the ban, it has seized only three tonnes in the past two months. According to BMC’s data, this year, it has seized around 79 tonnes of plastic and collected ₹4.34 crore fine by November 20. Of this, 40 tonnes of plastic was seized in the first four months of the ban, while the rest in the following eight months.
This is despite municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi directing his officials in October to conduct special drives against single-use plastic.
After the announcement of the ban, the civic body had formed a team of around 300 inspectors for all 24 wards to take action against those flouting norms.
The civic data said the team has so far conducted 14.45 lakh raids on shops and establishments, markets and godowns. BMC has asked inspectors not to put pressure on citizens but shopkeepers are required to pay fines and spread awareness about ill effects of plastic.