Mumbai: The BMC has come up with an ingenious idea to prevent corruption from polluting the anti-plastic drive. The civic body has decided to swap the employees of shops and establishments department at ward-level.
To put things in perspective, let's understand the plan with the following example. From now onwards, officials of ward A will raid commercial establishments – suspected of using single-use plastic – located in ward B. In this manner, violators won't be able to evade action simply on the basis of 'rapport' with regular raiding teams.
Anti-plastic drive to be intensified as monsoon arrives in June
A senior civic official said that the anti-plastic drive will be intensified as the monsoon will arrive in June. To avoid waterlogging resulting from clogged plastic, more seizures will be done from May. “The move to swap officials involved in plastic seizure has been resorted to bring transparency to the action. Many shop owners and hawkers get acquainted with the pattern of regular action taking staff and hide plastics before the raid. To address the issue, we will swap staff on two days in a week,” he added.
In 2018, the state government had banned single-use plastic, after which the BMC began taking action against erring hawkers and shop owners. However, the drive came to a grinding halt owing to Covid. It was resumed in July 2022. So far, the BMC has seized 4425kg plastic and collected Rs56.5 lakh in fines while 32 people have been prosecuted.
The demand for plastic ban was first raised after the July 26, 2005 deluge. A special committee was appointed by the state government, which had pointed out that single-use plastic and carry bags thinner than 50 microns had blocked the water flow, contributing to the catastrophe.
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