Banned plastic makes its way to heritage city

Menace persists despite MCC raids, awareness programmes

Plastic carry bags of thickness less than 40 microns were banned a few years ago. The use of all kinds of disposable plastic materials was banned after the ‘City of Places’ bagged the ‘Cleanest City’ tag for the second time in 2016. However, the use and sale of banned items continue in the city.

The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), which is responsible for checking the sale of banned items, has been conducting several awareness programmes. The MCC is also conducting surprise raids on shops to eradicate the plastic menace. But plastics are making their way into the city through various avenues. However, according to the MCC officials, the city has achieved 40% progress in controlling banned plastics, when compared to previous years.

Banned plastic covers are available at some sweet stalls, bakeries, textile, stationery and petty shops and even in hotels. One can see huge piles of waste plastic dumped in open spaces on the outskirts of the city. MCC health officer Dr H Ramachandra told DH that the officials have been conducting regular raids on shops and markets to check sale of the banned plastics.

“Despite repeated raids, a few shop keepers are continuing the use and sale of the banned plastic. We have seized nearly 150 kg of plastic on January 28 and have collected a fine of Rs 25,000. The officials conducted raids on nearly 30 shops near Agrahara, Chamundipuram, and other areas. We have been issuing warnings to the stake holders and the menace has been controlled almost by 40%, compared to previous years,” he said.

“Though the production units of plastics are defunct, the menace is rampant in areas such as Shivarampet. Many shop keepers procure banned plastic from Bengaluru and the MCC has chalked out a plan to stop them. We will conduct raids and refer the cases to Karnataka Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) authorities to take legal action,” Dr Ramachandra said.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, during a Karnataka Development Progress (KDP) review meeting held in the city recently, had issued directions to the MCC to book criminal cases for violations.

Major raids
To maintain cleanliness of the city, the MCC commissioner had seized banned plastic items from food stalls put up on the Scouts and Guides grounds during Mysuru Dasara-2016. The authorities also had demonstrated the ill-effects of the use of plastics among the stall keepers. In another case, the MCC officials had seized nearly 3,000 kg of banned plastic bags from Senthil Kumar Textiles near Agrahara Circle in November 2016.

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