Officers of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the City Municipal Council raided shops selling plastic items unlawfully during a surprise visit to various market places on Thursday morning.
The officers, who raided even several wholesale shops, paid no heed to the excuses given by the shopowners.
The raid continued from 10 am till 1 pm. Starting at the New Bus Stand Circle, the officers made a round of Brahmins’ Street, Doddapet and Kalamma Temple Street among others.
Venkatachalapathi, block assistant of the KSPCB, along with CMC officers, stopped at various shops and inspected the quality of the plastic of goods sold, using a plastic gauge. The officers confiscated things with plastic of lesser than 40 microns. Several shopowners also had to pay fines for the poor quality of the plastic.Verbal tussle
The raid had instances of verbal duels between the officers and the shopowners.
The officers found a huge pile of items made of plastic that was less than 40 microns at a wholesale shop in Doddapet. They expressed extreme discontentment at the shopowner disobeying instructions given a considerable time back and continuing to sell goods of low quality plastic.
In response, however, the owners said they had received no such instructions regarding ban on plastic. They added that if they were permitted even now, the goods would all be returned to the producers.
Chalapathi, the Revenue Department officer, however, did not fall for the words of the owner and insisted that the ban was declared three months ago. He also fined the shopowner Rs 5,000 for forgoing the plastic ban.
A V Sagar, CMC environment engineer, who spoke to Deccan Herald, said the raid on Thursday was the first such move to spread awareness regarding the ban on low quality plastic. The raid was conducted as instructed by R Shalini, the CMC commissioner. “The CMC will conduct such raids every week from now,” he added.
People using things made of plastic lesser than 40 microns can be charged Rs 500, shopowners will be charged from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 and wholesalers will be charged between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000 as fine, said the officer.
“The CMC has decided to ban the use of plastic in the city. It had tried to spread awareness about the ban using handouts. The residents had also been given a notice period of three months before conducting the raid carried out today,” he explained.
CMC health officer Ramesh, Vasantha Kumar and Tyagarajan were a part of the raid.