Mumbai: BMC finally wakes up from slumber, relaunches plastic-free campaign
The civic body has formed a team of officials to conduct inspections at malls, shops and offices.
After State Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray announced that by May this year the state should be free of single-use plastic, the richest corporation has swung into action. The BMC has decided to take strict action against banned plastic users in Mumbai from today onwards and has urged all Mumbaikars, including traders, vendors, and hawkers to refrain from using plastic.
BMC officials have inspected 16 lakh establishments and seized 86,000 kg plastic since June 2018. They have managed to net R4.65 crore in fine until now. According to the circular released by the state government, if you are found using plastic, you will have to cough up a fine of R5,000 for the first offence; R10,000 for a second offence; and R25,000 for a third offence. While the plastic ban was launched with gusto, it eventually lost momentum.
Thackeray has directed his officials to intensify the programme to prevent the use of banned plastics in Maharashtra. Items that face the ban include single-use plastic (production, use, sale, transportation, handling and storage) which includes plastic bags, plastic-made and one-time wastes such as plates, cups, plates, glasses, and spoons.
The corporation has formed a team of officials from various departments such as licenses, health, and education to carry out the raids at establishments, offices and malls that fall under their jurisdiction from March 1. The inspection will be conducted across all 24 wards. The education department also plans to ask children to refrain from using plastic.
The campaign will be expanded to include senior citizens and retired citizens in a banned plastic operation.
A press statement released by the BMC on Saturday, stated, "Nodal officer will be appointed at the department level to coordinate with the plastic squad in which markets, licenses, shops and establishments, health, and maintenance department officials will be included across all the 24 wards. Awareness banners and posters will be set up for banning plastics on BEST buses. A toll free number will be made available to citizens to complain about the banned plastics and the complaints received will be forwarded to the concerned account. All these measures will prevent the use of restricted plastics. All citizens are expected to cooperate for that."
Kg of plastic BMC has seized since June 2018
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