Plastic ban in Mumbai stays, but BMC has this to say about penalty
The civic administration’s decision has come in the wake of a rumour that the BMC was taking action against using plastic bags despite state government’s assurance that no one shall be penalised till a solution is found for its disposal.
To avoid confusion and prevent possible harassment to common people over use of plastic bags in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has suspended all actions against using plastic bags, including those below 50 microns, for the time being.
The civic administration’s decision has come in the wake of a rumour that the BMC was taking action against using plastic bags despite state government’s assurance that no one shall be penalised till a solution is found for its disposal. Three shops in Chakala in Andheri (East) were fined for possessing plastic on April 3. They alleged that the BMC fined them despite the state government assurance.
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Nidhi Chaudhary, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Special), clarified that the shops that were fined in Andheri were found possessing plastic bags below 50 microns. “Ban of plastic bags below 50 microns has been effective since 2006; action was taken based on that law,” said Chaudhary.
The state government has directed local bodies not to take harsh action till alternate solutions are found and disposal of old stocks of plastic is not complete. However, no relief has been granted for using plastic bags below 50 microns.
So, to avoid any confusion, the civic administration decided to suspend all action against using plastic bags in the city. “There is a directive to suspend all action for the time being to avoid confusion,” said a senior official from BMC’s Market Department.
According to civic official, they are not willing to take harsh action and want the plastic ban to be accompanied by awareness. “The suspension will take away the fear from the minds of the citizens and they encourage them to look for alternatives to plastic,” said the official.
The BMC will soon upload names of designated officials on its website, who will be in charge of implementing the plastic ban effectively, with the help of the citizens.