CALCULATED: Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will start imposing a fine of Rs 500 on stores selling goods in banned plastic bags with a thickness of less than 75 microns. Customers accepting such bags will also have to cough up Rs 50, if caught. The civic body will begin imposing fines from July 1.
Although BMC has conducted market awareness campaigns over the past two months, they have not had the desired impact. “Traders and shoppers are using the banned plastic bags. We continually urge them to stop using the bags. From next month we will start issuing fines,” a BMC official said.
Environmentalists and residents say city authorities need to take stronger action to successfully implement the ban. “Just asking shopkeepers and people not to use banned plastic bags will not help. Repeat offenders must be punished,” said Bidhannagar Welfare Association Secretary. Sarat Mullick.
“The manufacture of this plastic must be stopped at its source while preventing its storage, transport and use. In addition, there is a need to provide cost-effective alternatives to replace these plastic bags. Without this, only prohibiting the use plastic will be an exercise in futility,” said one environmental activist. Underhas Dutta.
“At GD Block Market in Salt Lake, most traders have started selling their products in thicker plastic bags over 75 microns,” said Tamal Pal, a resident of the HB block of Salt Lake. “Councillors have started taking the wheel in their neighborhoods. We distribute jute bags and urge people to use them when shopping,” BMC MMiC (environment) Rahima Bibi Mondal said. BMC also held a rally in Ward No. 2 on Saturday