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Maharashtra plastic ban: Pollution board begins shutting down manufacturing units

The board has asked its regional offices to start conducting site inspections of the manufacturing units and accordingly issue stop work notices if they are found to be operating in violation of the ban.

mumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2018 00:16 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
hindustan times
Maharashtra,Plastic ban,Maharashtra government
There are around 300 units in the state, which are directly involved in the manufacturing of plastic bags and one-time-use disposable plastic items banned by the government.(HT FILE)

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the authority responsible for granting environment-related consents to manufacturing units, has started the closure process of those units that manufacture plastic bags and other items, banned under the state government’s new notification.

The board has asked its regional offices to start conducting site inspections of the manufacturing units and accordingly issue stop work notices if they are found to be operating in violation of the ban. The directives for stop work notices were issued on March 28.

There are around 300 units in the state, which are directly involved in the manufacturing of plastic bags and one-time-use disposable plastic items banned by the government. The MPCB has already stopped renewing licenses of such units.

“The units are expected to stop manufacturing the banned items of plastic voluntarily. But considering their opposition, we have directed all regional offices of the board to conduct site inspections in the next 10 days and issue stop work notices to the units violating the ban,” said Nandkumar Gurav, sub-regional officer (coordination), MPCB.

The ban is an extension of the 2006 ban on plastic carry-bags below 50 microns, imposed after the Mumbai deluge. The government however, realised that the 2006 ban was not helping in preventing the clogging of drains.

For the first time, the government has decided to extend the ban on manufacturing instead of just limiting it to storage or usage. It is expected that once the manufacture of plastic items is frozen, the usage of these items would be curtailed automatically.

“We plan to implement the ban strictly. No unit will be allowed to manufacture any item that has been banned. The power and water connection will be disconnected if the units are found violating the ban,’’ Gurav said.

MPCB has also written letters to all municipal corporations, municipal councils, collectors and chief executive officers of Zilla Parishads to prepare plans to successfully implement the ban as early as possible.

However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has done very little work on ground, even after 10 days have passed since the state had imposed the ban.

Maharashtra government had given all stakeholders a one-month period to dispose of the banned items. It had also asked all the local bodies to start collection centres to collect the banned plastic items from residents.

However, the BMC has not installed a single collection centre in the city.

First Published: Apr 03, 2018 00:15 IST