Mumbai,(The Hindu): The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided not to levy fines on certain banned plastic items as they are under consideration for exemption by the State government. They include garbage bin liners, food containers, and Ganpati decoration items.
The State government had, in March, issued a notification banning the manufacturing, sale, use of all single-use plastic bags. Besides, it banned an array of products, including cutlery and straws. The order allows for a penalty starting at 5,000 up to 25,000. The government had allowed people time until June 23 to dispose of their banned items before penal provisions came into force.
The crackdown on offenders began on Saturday. “Since the State government is considering exempting certain items, it will be unfair to start coercive action against them. There is no such written directive, but we will wait until a decision is taken. Meanwhile, we will focus on other items,” Nidhi Choudhary, deputy municipal commissioner (in-charge), said.
Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said, “The matter has been sent to a high-power committee and it will take the final call.”
Meanwhile, the BMC continued its drive on Wednesday. Civic officials inspected 5,739 establishments and seized 253 kg of banned plastic items. They collected a fine of 2.8 lakh. Nine establishments refused to pay the fine and inspection reports were filed against them for prosecution. This brings the total banned plastic collected to 1,225 kg. A total fine of 13.3 lakh has been collected so far.
Viren Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, said, the BMC’s action against offenders was less severe on Wednesday as certain items are under consideration for exemption. “We are hoping for relaxation at the retail level. In terms of food containers, we hope for relaxation with buy-back terms.”
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