Despite HC orders, CM instructions, polythene ban remains ineffective
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 | PNS | Dehradun–
Despite the High Court orders and directions on two occasions along with the instructions of the chief minister twice, the enforcement of the polythene ban in Uttarakhand, especially the provisional state capital Dehradun, continues to remain more of a joke. While the officials claim that they are conducting drives and penalising those found flouting the ban, the use of banned polythene and disposables made from polystyrene has remained widespread in the city. Both the High Court and the chief minister have stressed on the need for raising public awareness on the ban. The officials also echo the same and claim that they are focused on it. However, surprisingly, confusion on the nature of the ban still persists in the collective mind of the people. The traders are still purchasing the banned items as the specifics of the ban are not clear in their minds.
Such is the level of ‘awareness’ raised by the officials that many shopkeepers even in the heart of Dehradun- Paltan Bazaar still believe that polythene bags measuring less than 50 microns are allowed. Some even wrongly believe that such polythene is biodegradable.
A shopkeeper Sunita found trading near the Clock Tower said, “The suppliers of the polythene bag sell polythene bags which measure less than 50 microns which they say are not harmful to the environment. They further say that these bags are biodegradable and they easily decompose into the soil or water after they are discarded. Yes, we know that there is a ban. But we use bags with thickness lower than 50 microns as there is no ban on their use.”
When told that the ban applies to polythene bags irrespective of their thickness, she said that the use of polythene bags cannot be stopped unless manufacturing and supply processes are stopped.
Most of the vendors this correspondent talked to said that they know through their experiences that such anti-plastic activity tends to subside after a certain time.
Queried over the steps they are taking to stop manufacture and supply of the banned items, the municipal commissioner Vijay Kumar Jogdande said, “We are not in a position to say anything about the manufactures of polythene bags. However, we are regularly penalising the traders found on the wrong side of the ban and also those found using the same.”
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