Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will auction banned plastic bags it seized and stored in its godowns. As per the BMC records, the anti-plastic squads have seized a total of 48,841 kgs of banned plastic in raids until January 22. The tenders for the auction will be floated from February 4. The Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC), Vijay Balamwar said, “The plastic has to be auctioned only to bidders registered under the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The wards have been instructed accordingly. They will conduct the auction at their level.”
Another civic official, also a team member, said the delay is due to the strict qualifying norms set for the bidders to avoid malpractices. “The process is taking long since MPCB has insisted that the bidders must be registered. The condition has been put in place so that the selected bidder (company) will take up the plastic recycling and disposal work with responsibility.”
The Maharashtra government banned the single-use plastic in April 2018. A three-month grace was given by the state government to enable citizens, establishments and other organisations to stop the use of prohibited items and dispose of the plastic material at the collection centres.
The BMC has also stationed numerous trolley bins across the city to make the ban a success. In addition, toll-free helpline numbers have been set up to resolve citizens’ queries on use of plastic and banned products, methods to discard and retain them. According to the officials, the corporation has already generated `2,21,40,000 from penalities levied on business establishments, which manufacture banned plastic bags, not from citizens.