Mumbai: BMC collects Rs 1.27 crore as fine from plastic users
Use rampant despite the civic body closing down over 100 manufacturing units of plastic
The BMC has collected over Rs 1.27 crore by taking action against 2,800 shops selling single-use plastic since the plastic ban's implementation. While the plastic is still freely available at various marketplaces, municipal sources said that over 100 manufacturing units of plastic have been closed down after the ban was announced and action is ongoing every day.
In June, the state government implemented single-use plastic ban and also stopped the usage of any kind of plastic carry bags. The ban was announced with much fanfare and people found using it were to be fined anything from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. It was important for the civic body to ensure that action was carried out regularly.
In the last three months, 310 BMC officials have visited over 2.8 lakh shops in the city to check on plastic usage. While the Blue Squad went easy on the shop owners initially, the BMC toughened up two months ago. Over 2,800 shops have been penalised and the civic body has earned Rs 1.27 crore from it and collected 28,252 kg of plastic. This plastic will be auctioned at the ward level for recycling.
Asif Zakaria, a Congress corporator, said, "Plastic is still being used and the movement [ban] is not being implemented properly. Even where citizens are giving up on plastic, it is still available in various market areas and the squad is hardly doing anything."
A senior civic official, requesting not to be named, said, "Despite all the efforts taken by us, we are still seeing single-use plastic being circulated. We were told by some vendors that this is coming from neighbouring states, where plastic bags are practically dumped at the borders, from where these small-time hawkers and vendors pick them up and sell it in the market. However, we don't have information on the exact location where plastic is dumped, and that is why we are yet to take action on the root cause."
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