Mumbai: Almost seven months after the ban on plastic bags, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now walking the talk. It has decided to cancel the licenses of hawkers found guilty of using plastic bags from February 1. Civic officials caught six hawkers issuing plastic bags on Friday and have issued notices to them. “We have issued notices to these hawkers and will cancel their licenses shortly. Twenty-eight kg of plastic was recovered from them,” said an official involved in the matter.
A special squad, known as the ‘Blue Squad’ has been set up for this and these teams will be on patrol. In case, banned plastic is found, the licence will be cancelled on the spot, claimed the official. As per the rule, violators will have to pay fines ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 or undergo three-month jail term.
The government of Maharashtra had banned the single-use plastic in the state from June 23. In December 2018, the BMC received a circular which mentioned they could take stringent action against anyone found violating the law. “Thirty-five thousand kilos of plastic were recovered from Mumbai from June 23, 2018, to Jan 31, 2019. But to make the ban more effective, the corporation has decided to penalise hawkers by cancelling their licences,” said the civic official.