The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Police eye legal route to enforce plastic ban

The police are ready to enforce legal prosecution against those flouting the ban on plastic carrybags in eight tourist spots in and around the city. The deadline for enforcing the ban will be announced soon.

As part of the move, initiated on a directive from the state Pollution Control Board (PCB), the police will launch a nine-day awareness campaign in front of these spots from next Saturday.

S.K. Sarkar, special additional commissioner of police, explained: “First, we will tutor the visitors at the awareness camp. Then, a deadline will be announced on plastic carrybags. After that, offenders will be booked under Section 188 of the IPC.”

The PCB directive had marked 10 tourist spots across the state as plastic-free zones. Eight of the spots are in Calcutta and Howrah. The directive states that carrying and selling of any sort of plastic bags are to be strictly restricted in these spots, like Alipore zoo, Subhas Sarobar, Rabindra Sarobar, Victoria Memorial, National Library, Millennium Park, Botanical Garden and Belur Math.

“We held a meeting with the heads of the eight tourist destinations on June 20 and chalked out a programme,” said Sarkar. Plans are afoot to rope in schoolchildren, NCC cadets and scouts in the awareness campaign. Several schools have already been contacted, he added.

Students will be posted in and around the tourist spots, carrying placards urging people to boycott plastic bags. “Officers from the local police stations will be at hand to assist them,” added Sarkar. “Awareness camps will be set up in front of the designated spots, from where our new rules will be announced over the microphone.” The police have yet to set the deadline for a plastic bag ban, but Sarkar was optimistic that the time was near.

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