Mayor sorry for plastic-wrapped gift for new CM

Bengaluru Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun (DH Photo)

For all her talk against plastic, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun was caught offering a plastic-wrapped gift to the newly sworn-in Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, earning the wrath of environmentalists.

After a video of her dry fruits basket — covered completely in plastic — went viral on social media, the mayor was forced to admit to her faux pas, following which she vowed to lead by example by paying a penalty of Rs 500 for her mistake.

In her eagerness to greet the chief minister and request cooperation for the ongoing corporation projects, Gangambike on Tuesday presented Yediyurappa with the basket covered with a plastic sheet.

A day later, her gift went viral on social media and drew flak. "She has been educating everyone, from schoolgoers to working professionals, about the drawbacks of using plastic and imposed a ban on its use. She personally raided several shops and malls and recovered loads of plastic materials. But, at the end of the day, she is using plastic herself," said an environmental activist, who refused to be quoted by name on the issue.

When DH spoke to her, Gangambike apologised. "I don't know who bought the dry fruits basket wrapped in plastic. Nevertheless, I admit to my mistake and am willing to be punished. Being the mayor of the city, I should set an example to the others. On Saturday, I'll pay a fine of Rs 500 to the special commissioner (SWM)," she told DH.

The mayor added: "We're in the process of amending the KMC Act, enabling the collection of fines for using plastic. Let it start from me." 

Until now, the BBMP has raided over 9,000 shops and 4,000 street vendors, recovering 13.3 tonnes of plastic. Besides this, the civic body has also collected Rs 32.96 lakh as fine for the use of plastic.

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