Vegetables in plastic bags will be a thing of the past in Ranchi from December 16. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Come December 16, the use of polythene bags below 50 microns will completely vanish from Ranchi. The green message is being circulated by none other than street vendors.
On Sunday morning, as sale and purchase of vegetables at a makeshift market at Lalpur gained momentum, the vendors were heard reminding their customers: “Agle itwar se thaila lanbe, plastic nai milatau. (Please do remember to bring your own jute or paper bags from next Sunday as plastic ones will no longer be available)”.
At the same time, the vegetable sellers were seen giving the sold items to the customers in several polythene bags of the same density i.e. less than 50 microns.
A potato-onion seller Ramdev Ram explained that besides informing the people about the government order, they were liquidating their existing stock of plastic before the ban came into existence.
Handing over 5kg potatoes in five separate bags to his customer, Ram said: “We usually purchase these in a set of 100s or 500s. The ban order was relayed to us a couple of days back. Most of us by then had already purchased over 1,000 polythene bags. But it is better to exhaust the stock by this week itself instead of doing it after December 16 and attracting a penalty.”
The street vendors, however, welcomed the state’s decision to enforce the ban.
Kiran Devi, another vegetable seller, reasoned: “If government successfully manages to check the use of plastic, it will be good for us. We spend nearly Rs 300 to Rs 500 in buying these polythene bags. If we are not allowed to give these to the customers, it will save our money.”
Notably, in case a customer is found carrying a polythene bag below 50 micron from a shop, penalty will be slapped on both the parties for using the banned product.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) chief executive officer Dipankar Panda said they were working on the fine amount. “We will fix it by December 15 and announce the same through proper channel,” Panda added.
According to him, the civic body obeying Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey’s order will constitute raid teams for surprise inspections.
The inspections will begin from December 16. None — be it wholesalers, retailers, hawkers or shopkeepers — will be spared, Panda added.
RMC will further put up new hoardings to convey the message of making the city free from plastic.