Plastic ban: BMC's blue squad to get daily targets for action against violators of ban

Updated: Jan 09, 2019, 14:28 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Mumbai civic body plans to implement MPCB's circular of cancelling trade licence of hawkers and vendors found using plastic

Plastic collected by TMC officials last year. File Pic
Plastic collected by TMC officials last year. File Pic

After facing flak from citizens for the ineffective implementation of the ban on single-use plastic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) now plans to give daily targets to its 125-member blue squad for taking action against violators.

The civic body will move ahead from its earlier target of 3,500 visits and collection of Rs 1.5 lakh fines per month by increasing the numbers, for better results. It further plans to implement Maharashtra Pollution Control Board's (MPCB) circular of cancelling trade licence of the hawkers and vendors found using plastic, so that the illegal stock can recycled.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official said, "The MPCB circular has directed us to ensure that plastic is completely banned in the city. After taking action against those found with plastic, they will be made to sign an undertaking so that they don't use, carry or transport plastic in future. If they are found using plastic even after this, proceedings to cancel their trade licences will be initiated. As some shops continue to use plastic, we are seriously considering implementing the circular."

In June last year, the state government had implemented the ban on single-use plastic and people were fined anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000. Speaking to mid-day, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Vijay Balamwar, said, "We will soon finalise the action plan so that the plastic menace can be curbed."

While plastic bags continue to be freely available at various markets, municipal sources said that more than 100 plastic manufacturing units have been shut since the ban was imposed. The civic body also claims to have conducted 4 lakh visits to shops and markets and seized 47,163 kg of plastic over the past six months, apart from collecting Rs 1.99 crore as fine till December 31, 2018.

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