The Telegraph
Saturday , February 18 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Plastic ban on paper only

Sambalpur, Feb. 17: A ban on the use of polythene bags in the city seems to have failed. Sambalpur Municipality had imposed a ban on the use of polythene carry bags and other polythene products from January 1, but it is yet to be enforced.

“The civic body had passed a resolution in a council meeting to ban the use of polythene products. An extensive campaign had also been launched. The municipality had also decided to slap fines on polythene users, but the ban remains on paper,” said Tarun Meher, a local resident.

“Initially, several shops had stopped using polythene carry bags. But when they understood that the civic body was not serious in enforcing the ban, they began using them again,” said Meher.

Basant Hati, another local resident, said the ban on polythene bags and other polythene products had been a welcome move by the Sambalpur Municipality. “We had appreciated the decision of the civic body. But the civic body has failed to enforce it. Just declaring a ban on polythene is not enough,” he said

“When the ban was imposed, I had stopped buying polythene bags. I had even started persuading customers to come with a bag to my shop. I had already started using alternatives. But I saw that many shopkeepers started using polythene bags after some time had passed. So, now I too have started using them,” said a grocery shop owner, requesting anonymity.

However, chairperson of Sambalpur Municipality Reena Trivedi said the use of polythene bags had reduced remarkably in the city.

“Several shops have stopped using polythene bags and some are using polythene carry bags of 40 micron thickness and above. You can use polythene carry bags of a specified thickness,” said Trivedi.

The civic body chief, however, admitted that they were yet to conduct raids on shops and other business establishments that are using polythene bags.

“The executive officer was on leave. We will start conducting raids next week. We will soon constitute squads for raiding the shops,” said Trivedi.