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Plastic bag: Overcharging for green bags irks residents, restaurant owners

Citizens claim shopkeepers are charging extra for cloth bags besides secretly pushing their stored plastic bag stocks into the market.

pune Updated: Mar 27, 2018 22:33 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Plastic ban,Cloth bag,paper bag
Following the plastic ban directive, food joints in Pune have started using cloth bags to parcel dishes.(HT PHOTO)

Pune Residents are facing a tough time following the plastic ban directive with some shopkeepers overcharging them for cloth and paper bags. Restaurant owners said that it would be difficult to carry out business as usual, especially supplying parcels as majority of the food products which are ferried as parcels are gravy items which have to be compulsorily packed in plastic bags or plastic containers, both of which have been banned according to the new law.

Mohini Dutta , a resident of Fortaleza Co-operative Housing Society in the upmarket Kalyaninagar, said that shopkeepers were charging extra for the new cloth bags though they are secretly pushing their stored plastic bag stocks into the market. “ I was charged Rs 1 for a normal plastic bag and Rs 10 for a cloth bag. The overcharging is also leading to exploitation of buyers and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) must set up a vigilance squad to curb these incidents,” she said.

In its notification issued last week, the state government banned various plastic and thermocol items, including all kinds of plastic bags and plastic containers used to carry food items. Following the ban, the government has given one month to local bodies to prepare the strategy for implementing the ban.

Vimannagar resident Adesh Patil, who stays in Kumar Sophronia, said that he too became a victim of overcharging. “Though the new green bags are being sold from Rs 5 up to Rs 20, there should be a system to address the anomaly which is unfortunately missing. We request the PMC to take action against the shopkeepers and traders indulging in overcharging ,” he said.

Sameeksha Bhagchandani, a resident of Oxford Village in Wanowrie said, “There have been cases where the buyers are being charged extra by shopkeepers. The prices for these bags need to be fixed and bona fide price authorised and approved by the PMC must be released in public interest at the earliest ,” he said.

Soho Restaurant owner Ikram Khan told Hindustan Times that it would be very difficult for restaurants to supply home delivery parcels like sandwiches and other gravy items. Besides, fresh meat is also brought and served in plastic bags which must be noted. Khan said that banning plastic containers will aggravate the situation further.

Pune Camp resident Tausif Shaikh that cloth bags can be subsidised under the central Swachh Bharat Abhiyan so that the price of bags are brought down and made more affordablefor citizens.

Civic officials monitoring the situation said that citizens can lodge complaints with the respective ward officers or do it online on grievances redressal system.

First Published: Mar 27, 2018 20:34 IST