Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has intensified its action against the plastic ban in Mumbai during the Ganesh Festival. BMC's flying squads have seized 1600 kg of plastic in Mumbai in the last month. Recently, officers from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and police constables joined the BMC's team. Until last year, the BMC used to send reports to the MPCB, but this year, the MPCB approached the civic body and asked to include BMC officers in the raid team. Now, there is a five-member flying squad in each of the 24 wards to take action against plastic.
Raid by flying squad
From August 21 to September 14, the flying squad has conducted raids on shopping malls, shops, and hawkers, seizing 1643 kg of plastic from them and collecting Rs 37 lakh 75 thousand in fines. Moreover, the BMC has filed cases in court against two individuals for not paying the penalty. On September 14 alone, the BMC seized 193 kg of plastic from the Santacruz East area. Deputy Commissioner Sanjog Kabre said, 'After MPCB officers joined the team, the intensity of action against plastic has increased, and the BMC has never seized such a large quantity of plastic within one month in previous actions.'
The government has banned single-use plastic, including its manufacturing, use, transportation, distribution, and sale. The state has directed municipal corporations in Maharashtra to impose a penalty of Rs 5000 for violations. The demand for a ban on plastic was first raised after the July 26, 2005, deluge in Mumbai. A special committee appointed by the state government had pointed out that single-use plastic and carry bags thinner than 50 microns had blocked the flow of water in stormwater drains and nullahs.
According to the Maharashtra Degradable and Non-Degradable Waste Control Act of 2006, the BMC can impose a penalty of Rs 5000 for the first violation, Rs 10,000 for the second violation by the same person, and Rs 25,000 for the third violation.
- Between July 01, 2022, to September 2023, a total of 7030 kg of plastic has been seized
- BMC has collected Rs 1 crore 70 thousand in penalties