Beware, no more plastic, or polythene bags from today, if you are living in Mumbai municipal area.
Plastic bags from your any shopkeeper or from your eating joints and disposal of your waste in these bags will be treated as illegal henceforth. The Maharashtra government’s ban on plastic items has become effective immediately.
Shopkeepers and manufacturers will need to take the ban seriously because this time the Mumbai Municipal Corporation is strict to book offenders to the tune of Rs 5,000 for the first offence from Monday onwards. This fine would be Rs 1,000 for the second offence and Rs 25,000 for every subsequent violation.
The BMC’s squad in dark-blue waistcoats will position themselves in all the corners of the city to make people aware about the ban. The squad will carry a letter from the deputy municipal commissioner which will authorise them to find people and fine them who are found violating or using the banned items.
However, their main concern will be to increase awareness on the issue, The squad will be polite though, clarifies assistant municipal commissioner Sangeeta Hasnale.
The BMC has trained them not to antagonise the people about the issue. They have also been explained what exactly is banned and what the fines, which have been levied.
The BMC squad on plastic will focus initially only on hawkers, retailers and malls across the city limits. It is informed.
Squads have been strictly instructed to go easy on children, the elderly and women groups. Nevertheless, they would seize the plastic bag and explain the ban. Fines may be imposed later if found necessary.
The BMC has decided to use its own staff in the squad.
The BMC’s squads will comprise of officials from three departments, namely license, markets and encroachment. Each ward will have 10 members which will look after the ban.
The shopkeepers and sellers san licenses will be seized from selling other items too. Hawkers with licenses will also need to give their details when the squad book the offence.
Anybody found obstructing in the enforcement can be booked under section 353 of the IPC. That is related to assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his official duty.
The state government had laid down this ban after the BMC started facing a lot of problems on garbage disposing of. It has also banned the manufacture, usage, transport, distribution, too. The wholesale and retail sale and storage, and import of plastic bags have also been banned through a notification dated March 23, 2018.