Banned items flooding Haridwar markets

The efforts made by the  National Green Tribunal and district administration to stamp out the menace of polythene, plastic and Polystyrene disposables seem to be futile as these itmes are being sold in the main markets of the city. The common refrain running among the people is that the civic body teams are engaged in raiding and slapping the poor vendors with fines while leaving the bigger ones  unscathed.  “While small fishes are being caught in the net spread by the municipal corporation the bigger ones are spared. We wonder whether this would help the city to get rid of the menace. This is unjust,” grumbled a small vendor. As per the rules laid down by National Green Tribunal, sale and use of polythene and similar articles is prohibited in the city area. Anyone found using such bags or selling articles packed in such bags is liable to be slapped with a fine of `5000. Despite the fine dangling over the heads, the use of polythene and plastic is still continuing with impunity.  The common people ascribe the failure to the partisan attitude of the civic body vis-a-vis the raids. “Raiding the small vendors trading along the Ganga banks is not enough. To stamp the menace out effectively,  the bigger traders and even wholesale dealers must be stopped from flouting the ban,” said a senior citizen living in the city. Quizzed over the critical refrain running in the people over the matter by The Pioneer,  the additional municipal commissioner Nupur Verma said, “We have been identifying the big vendors dealing with polythene. On receiving such information, we raided one big shop located at Kankhal. However, the banned items were not found there. We are vigilant. Nobody found on the wrong side of the rules would be spared, big or small,” she said. Observers say that when consecutive raids were carried out by the municipal corporation teams last year the polythene was totally wiped out from the vegetable markets. “The vendors started to sell food stuff in paper wraps. However, things have gone back to the square one once the raids stopped. A drive was carried out a week ago in Jwalapur area and fines worth Rs 5300 were recovered by the team from the vendors. However, the strange thing is that the impact of the raids is not enduring.  The markets are still being flooded by the banned bags,” says an observer. The revenue collected by the municipal corporation in 2018 shows Month                  Revenue collected May                      Rs 60,000 June                      Rs 1,22,700 July                       Rs 77,850 Aug                       Rs 65,500 September          Rs 1,32,100 October               Rs 62,550 November           No Drive December           No Drive Friday, 01 February 2019 | PNS | Haridwar

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