After PM's reminder, BMC wakes up on its single-use plastic ban

Updated: Oct 03, 2019, 07:42 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Collects Rs 90,000 in fines on Wednesday; sources say civic godowns full of seized material, so officials had reduced action

A file picture of plastic seized by TMC. The BMC has been struggling to dispose of the plastic that has been collected
A file picture of plastic seized by TMC. The BMC has been struggling to dispose of the plastic that has been collected

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally woken up to take action against single-use plastic in the city, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the need to do so. Plastic was freely available in the city despite the ban against it in Maharashtra from June 23, 2018. The BMC started acting on Wednesday and officials visited several markets and commercial establishments to find plastic. The BMC's blue squad visited 2,990 shops where inspections were done and warnings given. The civic body managed to collect Rs 90,000 in fines from plastic users.

The ban against plastic was announced with much fanfare, and people found using it were to be fined from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. The BMC has 310 officials who visit shops and markets in the city to check on plastic usage. As the civic body has been struggling to dispose off the plastic that has been collected for a year and is filling their godowns, over the past six months, its officials have reduced visits and actions due to this, revealed sources.

On Wednesday, students and teachers from 50 private and 80 municipal schools held rallies to spread awareness about single-use plastic. Even BMC officials and their respective teams held drives in commercial and residential areas to seize plastic. A civic official said, "The drive was more for awareness to share the necessity to ban single use plastic due to its adverse effects on environment, animals and humans. The plastic ban oath was also administered in markets and we encouraged shop owners and citizens to use cloth bags instead of plastic." However, he added, "Action was never stopped and on Wednesday, we collected a fine of R90,000 against the use of banned materials."

Citizens participate in Swachhata Hi Seva

Under the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign held by BMC on October 2, several activities were organised, such as beach cleaning drives in Versova, Girgaum and Juhu with the participation of over 10,000 volunteers and citizens. Citizens and school students across all the 24 wards rallied in support of the cleanliness movement. A total of 55 events were held across 200 locations with over 2,00,000 citizens participating, said a civic official.

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