The Delhi government on Friday got cracking on reinforcing the ban on plastic bags by issuing challans to 10 shopkeepers. The move assumes significance,coming two days after the Union Minister for Environment and Forests,Jairam Ramesh,told Parliament the ban was the result of civic administrative failure.
Months after the January 7 notification officially banning plastic bags in the city,a team comprising Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) officials and the local police issued challans for 10 violations in Rajouri Garden market.
We have found 10 cases of violations by shopkeepers, DPCC Member Secretary A K Ambasht said.
Penalties for the violations will be decided in court on the basis of the degree of violation.
DPCC officials said the focus would be on shopkeepers who retail or provide plastic bags,in the first few raids. Independent users might also be fined.
On Saturday,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is slated to hold a meeting of all agencies dealing with the ban.
Jairam Ramesh,in a Parliamentary session,had said that a ban on plastic bags was not a good idea and a result of civic administrative failure in the city. Responding to this,Dikshit had called up Ramesh to clarify that the ban on polybags allowed for biodegradable plastic bags and was to encourage eco-friendly alternatives like cloth and jute.
The debate,however,seems to have spurred the government into action. As per the government notification,sub-divisional magistrates; civic bodies like the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi; the DPCC and seven flying squads are empowered to reinforce the ban in the city. The Delhi government was,however,focussing on an awareness drive in the first few months for shopkeepers and consumers. City plastic associations,meanwhile,moved the High Court asking for a stay on the ban,which was refused.