Tribune News Service
Patiala, October 10
Despite the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned the use of polythene bags and the state government enforced the ban on April 1, shopkeepers continue to use these polythene bags in the city.
Though the Municipal Corporation, Patiala, had banned the use of polythene bags in 2016, it seems that the implementation of the ban is a Herculean task for it.
With issuing a few challans last year, the authorities have turned a blind eye to the usage of polythene bag, which is causing pollution. These bags have become a major reason for chocked sewers in the city.
Polythene bags are still in circulation and people can be seen carrying these bags in various parts of the city.
Ravee S Ahluwalia, an environmentalist, said being a non-biodegradable product, polythene carry bags had been polluting the environment for the past many years and making the soil unfit for other uses.
“Polythene bags release harmful toxins in the air and restrict seepage of water. These bags also prevent the recharging of groundwater, leading to a dip in the water table. Besides, by blocking sewers, these also expose the city to floods during rains,” he added.
The MC authorities said while the officials were doing their job to check the use of plastic, the only way to eradicate the pollutant was to reshape the public perception regarding the impact of polythene on the environment.
As per the rules laid down under the Punjab Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacturer, Usage and Disposal) Control (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, a manufacturer of plastic bags may face an imprisonment from three months to one year or Rs 25,000 as fine or both, while users, including traders and shopkeepers, may face a fine up to Rs 2,000.
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