Noida fails to enforce ban on use of plastic bags
Despite the Noida authority announcing a blanket ban on the use of plastic bags of 40 microns thickness or less, the rule is openly flouted in city markets
The Noida authority on January 20, 2016, had announced a ban on distribution, production and use of plastic carry bags following the Uttar Pradesh government’s order. However, the Noida authority and Gautam Budh Nagar district administration have failed to enforce the ban and have not penalised offenders.
The Noida authority had approved a proposal seeking a complete ban on the use of plastic bags of 40 microns thickness or less. The use of plastic carry bags is rampant in all city markets and vegetable shops, as the authorities are yet to develop a system to enforce the ban.
“I have asked the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board (UPPCB) to develop a mechanism and start an intensive drive in all markets to enforce the ban on plastic carry bags. Before starting a drive against violators, we will soon convene a meeting in this regard and then penalise those violating the law,” Rakesh Kumar Mishra, an additional chief executive officer of the Noida authority, said.
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet in December 2015 had approved a complete ban on the distribution, manufacture and sale of polythene carry bags of 40 microns thickness and below in the state following an Allahabad high court order in November 2015, directing it to ensure that the order is complied with by December 31.
The New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida) Non-degradable Garbage/Polythene (control) Bylaws, 2015, was drafted in line with UP Plastic and Non-Biodegradable (Regulation of use and disposal) Act, 2000.
As per the law, the authority staff can levy a penalty of Rs5,000 on those found using a plastic bag thinner than 40 microns. If a person is found violating the ban a second time, the authority will charge a penalty of Rs500 per day. A third-time violation would lead to imprisonment of three months.
“Shopkeepers and shoppers in all markets such as Indira market in Sector 27, Atta market, sectors 51, 41 or even weekly vegetable markets all are using plastic carry bags. It is happening because the authorities have not taken any action to implement the law till date,” said Ramkanwar Tanwar, who started a drive against the use of plastic carry bags in 2016 in Bishanpura village.
“I have written to the Noida authority to enforce the ban on the use of plastic carry bags in Noida. Since the Noida authority is looking after all the municipal work, it is responsible for implementing the ban. The authority should also organise awareness campaigns so that people can be discouraged from using plastic carry bags,” BN Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.