Mumbai: Panel rejects BMC demand to slash plastic ban fine

Mumbai: The law panel of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has rejected the civic body’s demand to reduce the minimum fine proposed for violating plastic ban from Rs 5000 to Rs 200.

With the rejection, Mumbaikars found carrying banned plastic items will be fined from Rs 5000 to Rs 25,000 from June 24, a senior civic official said today.

The Maharashtra government banned the manufacture, usage, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale and storage, and import of plastic bags through a notification dated March 23 this year.

Other plastic items like single-use disposable dishes, cups, plates, glasses, forks, bowls, containers, plastic packaging to wrap or store products, and packaging of food items and food grain material, were also banned.

“Fine for 1st offence Rs 5000. Fine for 2nd Offence Rs 10000. Fine for subsequent offence Rs 25000 and 3 months imprisonment. For non-compliance with provisions of Maharashtra Non-biodegradable Garbage Control Act 2006 offence can be registered in COURT,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Nidhi Choudhari tweeted.

To enforce the ban, civic inspectors will keep an eye on shops, markets, malls and street hawkers and penalise those who violate the ban.

“Different teams consisting of 250 inspectors have been formed who will keep an eye on shops in malls, shopkeepers, street vendors, hotels, restaurants and citizens,” the official said.

In a bid to clear confusion about the items that fall under the banned list, Choudhari issued a series of posts.

“Is there a ban on plastic packaging for medical purpose?- NO. Is there a ban on rain coat/tarpaulin sheets/pens/Plastic wrapper of biscuits, chips etc? -NO. Is there a ban on plastic/thermocol packaging of products at manufacturing stage? -NO,” she tweeted.

“Is there a ban on high quality carry bags issued erstwhile by malls/shops?- YES. Is there a ban on plastic/thermocol decorative items?- YES. Is there a ban on disposable cutlery, plates, bowls, cups etc?- YES. Is there a ban on Non Woven polypropylene bags?- YES,” she said in another tweet.

Meanwhile, with a view to explain to people the alternatives to plastic after the ban comes into force, the BMC will organise a three-day exhibition starting tomorrow at NSCI in suburban Worli, which will be inaugurated by state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam.

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