Target August in plastic campaign

Jamshedpur: Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), which has seized 18 tonnes of banned plastic carry bags from shopkeepers in the last seven months, plans to make the city 'polythene free' by August 5.

"If we are serious about protecting our environment, we have to get rid of polythene bags. So far we have seized 18 tonnes of plastic bags by conducting raids in shops, eateries and even godowns," JNAC special officer Sanjay Pandey said.

"On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, we had set a target of two months to make the city free from plastic bags," Pandey added.

In September 2017, the Cabinet decided to impose a blanket ban on the use of plastic carry bags irrespective of its thickness and size. The ban came into effect on Statehood Day (November 15, 2017).

Meanwhile, continuing its drive against the menace, JNAC on Saturday night raided three shops at Bistupur market and a mall at Kamani Centre and slapped fines on shop owners for stocking plastic packets.

"We earned Rs 30,000 penalty from three shops at Bistupur. No plastic packets were found at Ashok, a garments store in Kamani Centre. We also had raided several fruit vendors but let them go with a warning," said Pandey.

Shopkeepers said regular raids by the civic body was akin to harassing them.

Ashok Agrawal, owner of the garments store at Kamani Centre, said they had already shunned the use of plastic.

"We use jute bags for customers which are not only costlier, but also not available in the market," he said.

"If the civic body has banned plastic bags, they should also suggest an alternative," said Agrawal, adding the state government should provide jute bags to shopkeepers at subsidised rates.


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