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Plastic ban in Maharashtra: Penalty to remain at ₹5,000 for now

State wants the fine to be steep; BMC wants to reduce it to between Rs200 and Rs1,000.

mumbai Updated: Jun 20, 2018 11:25 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Maharashtra plastic ban
The proposal to reduce the fine is tabled before the law committee of the civic body(HT File Photo)

Last week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had proposed to bring down the fine on the usage of banned plastic items to ₹200 from the existing ₹5,000.

However, on Tuesday officials from the state government said they are unsure if the civic body is authorised to reduce the fine, and thus, it is unlikely that citizens would be relieved from shelling out a higher fine when the ban is implemented from June 23.

The proposal to reduce the fine is tabled before the law committee of the civic body. It will be then forwarded to the standing committee of the BMC. After getting a nod from the standing committee, the general body will take a final call on the proposal.

Anil Diggikar, principal secretary of the state environment department said, “I am unsure if the BMC can take a call on reducing the fine amount for offenders.”

Civic officials confirmed that offenders caught violating the ban will be charged ₹5,000 until the proposal to reduce the fine is finally approved by general body, which is no time soon. They said that the fine amount is impractical because of which they have proposed to reduce the penalty amount.

Nidhi Choudhari, deputy municipal commissioner of BMC, said, “Since every citizen will be fined for carrying the banned plastic, it is necessary that the fine amount is made reasonable. We have asked the law committee to reduce the fine amount to ensure that the ban is properly implemented.”

According to the BMC proposal, the fine amount ranges between ₹200 and ₹1000 for first time offenders.

The civic body wants to vary the fine from citizens, milk and fruit vendors, general stores and malls and hotels. While it has been proposed that citizens should be fined ₹ 200, the fine amount for malls and hotels could be ₹1000.

The state had issued a notification on March 23 this year, imposing a ban on purchase, sale, distribution and storage of single use disposal plastic. An extension of three months was given to implement the ban.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 11:24 IST