Mumbai plastic ban: BMC forms special squad to tackle plastic menace in city hospitals
Officials posted at hospital entrances to seize all plastic bags; medical reports and medicines will be provided in paper bags or folders
Patients and family members who carried their medical reports and belongings to hospital in plastic bags found officers waiting at the entrance to seize the banned bags. With the plastic ban now on in full swing, the health department of BMC has formed a special vigilance team to seize all plastic waste at hospitals and sensitise visitors about the new rule.
To avoid getting fined, hospitals and in-house pharmacies have opted out for alternatives such as paper and cotton bags. "The house-keeping department and pharmacy have been strictly instructed not to use any plastic bags. We are providing reports and medicines in paper bags, as per the rules of BMC," said a senior officer from Kokilaben Hospital.
Many patients from rural areas were found carrying plastic bags to protect their belongings from the rain. "A team of vigilant officers has been installed at the entrance of the BMC hospitals who are talking with the patients' relatives to sensitize them about the plastic ban and also seizing all plastic bags. But we are also ensuring that the patients or their relatives don't face any hassles over this," said Dr Avinash Supe, dean of the hospital.
Ajaykumar Pande, vice-president at Lilavati Hospital, said the hospital is trying to spread awareness about the issue. "It is not possible for us to provide alternatives to all the patients, but we have made the hospital plastic-free," he said.
'Raj uncle playing politics over plastic'
Environment minister and Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam launched a tirade against MNS chief Raj Thackeray for criticizing the ban in hoardings installed across the city. One such hoarding was erected right outside Matoshree, the residence of Uddhav Thackeray's family. Kadam responded: "Why is uncle [Raj] feeling threatened by nephew [Aaditya Thackeray]? Rather than congratulating Aaditya for initiating the ban, which people have accepted, he is playing politics over it. " Kadam also defended the massive R5,000 penalty, stating, "People have to be scared of the law. Without that such a ban cannot be achieved," said Kadam.
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