The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plastic ban scan on heritage haunts
- Pollution Control Board, police tour tourist spots for polybag-block modalities

Acting fast on chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s advice not to make Environment Day celebrations a “one-day ritual”, the state Pollution Control Board (PCB) on Tuesday took its “ban-plastic” campaign to the kick-off spots.

Additional director-general of police (pollution) Sultan Singh, senior environmental engineer Subir Mitra and scientist Debasish Chakrabarty visited five heritage points in town recently identified as “no-plastic carrybag zones” by the PCB.

Starting with Victoria Memorial, the officials, accompanied by Calcutta Police representatives and members of PUBLIC and Concern for Calcutta, also met the authorities of Millennium Park, Alipore zoo, National Library and Rabindra Sarobar. The aim was “to work out the modalities of the no-entry for plastic campaign”.

“The general response has been quite positive, though a lot remains to be done at the ground level. Even the relevant signboards are not properly displayed at all places. We have seen plastic carrybags being used in Millennium Park and have even found some plastic bags and bottles tossed into the river,” revealed PCB officials.

Starting now, the administrative heads of different heritage places will enjoy the legal authority to book those violating the no-plastic carrybag directive in the designated zones. “They can lodge a complaint with the police to take necessary action under Section 188 of the IPC,” explained PCB chairman Hirak Ghosh.

Some officials demanded greater police action. “We have problems enforcing the directive, with few people to oversee such a large area. The police must take the initiative,” said P. K. De, in charge of Rabindra Sarobar.

Visitors carrying plastic packs are demanding “practical solutions” to back the ban. “Introducing a token system to keep plastic carrybags at the gate could be an option,” said PCB official Subir Mitra.

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