CLOSE on the heels of a ban on various plastic items in the state, Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam on Wednesday said that his department is considering a ban on chemical fertilisers in Maharashtra.
“The people in Maharashtra have realised the adverse impacts of plastic and are giving up the use of plastic and are using cloth bags. The rivers, sea shores and beaches are full of plastic which is affecting the environment and human lives as well. The carbon footprint and temperatures have increased. As a result, the farmers have to deal with drought. The use of chemical fertilizers in farming has increased the toxic content in foodgrains.
So, after the plastic ban, the State Environment Department is considering a ban on chemical fertilizers,” said Kadam at an event organized by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). However, officials from the State Environment Department (SED) and MPCB did not confirm Kadam’s announcement. A senior official from the SED said the department did not have the power to impose such a ban. An MPCB official said that the decision to ban any fertiliser can only be taken in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Department.
“We can at the best propose a ban citing soil and water pollution due to the use of chemical fertilisers,” said the official. Meanwhile, the SED launched an Android-based mobile application called ‘Plastic Ban’ to spread awareness about the ban.
The department also announced cash prizes to local bodies for 100 per cent successful implementation of the plastic ban, including a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh to a municipal corporation, Rs 15 lakh to a council and Rs 10 each to six gram panchayats from every revenue division.