Thane: State environment minister Ramdas Kadam, on a tip-off, conducted a surprise raid at 14 illegal plastic manufacturing factories in Sonale village, Bhiwandi and seized 30 metric tonnes (mt) of banned plastic carry-bags and related materials on Thursday morning.
In a strategic move, without informing any legal authority, the minister reached Bhiwandi and later informed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), district administration, police and Bhiwandi Tahsildar.
Subsequently, in a joint action taken by MPCB, district administration and police department, the minister conducted surprise raids at 49 plastic manufacturing factories but only 14 factories were engaged in plastic work, said Kalyan MPCB regional officer Shankar Waghmare.
Surprisingly, the 14 factories were locked from outside but workers were at work inside. MPCB officers broke open the locks and entered the factories, said officials.
Bhiwandi MLA Rupesh Mahatre said, "I was also surprised when I heard that our party minister was at a raid of plastic manufacturing factories. Soon along with party workers I reached the spot."
Shankar Waghmare said,"We have taken action against the 14 manufacturing plants. Despite being banned, these factories were running illegal operations."