Tribune News Service
Haridwar, July 28
The stern directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) totally prohibiting use of polythene bags and plastic material as well as their sale in and around Brahma Kund, Har-ki-Pauri, is being openly flouted during the ongoing Kanwar yatra.
Local traders and vendors are openly selling and using plastic material, polythene bags, sheets and low cost plastic raincoats at Har-ki-Pauri.
As a large number of Lord Shiva devotees called Kanwariyas are arriving in Haridwar every day to fetch holy Ganga jal from Har-ki-Pauri, the sale of plastic material and polythene sheets and material for decorating kanwars is leading to pollution of the Ganga.
Purushottam Sharma Gandhivadi, president of the Ganga Sabha that manages the affairs at Har-ki-Pauri, told The Tribune that they had written to the district administration in this regard as the pollution level in the Ganga was increasing due to use and sale of polythene bags and plastic material at Har-ki-Pauri and adjacent ghats.
“I have written to the district administration to apprise it about violation of the NGT orders regarding the the ban on the use of polythene bags and plastic material at Har-ki-Pauri. At our level, we are generating awareness among pilgrims, Kanwariyas and tourists to shun use of polythene bags and plastic material at Ganga ghats. Also, pilgrims are encouraged to take a pledge during Ganga aarti that they will maintain the sanctity and purity of the Ganga,” said Purushottam.
Municipal Commissioner Vipra Trivedi said the Municipal Corporation was impromptu raiding polythene bag stockists, wholesale traders and vendors at Har-ki-Pauri and adjacent areas of Rodi Belwala, Subash Ghat, Moti Bazaar and Upper Road.
“We are penalisng traders for stocking and selling polythene bags and plastic material, as the NGT has banned their use and sale at Har-ki-Pauri. Even the Irrigation Department is being served a notice in this regard as it has failed to implement the NGT directive properly. Ganga ghats coming under the purview of the Irrigation Department are not being properly and regularly cleaned and polythene bags, plastic material and thermocol could be seen littered and stuck near Har-ki-Pauri, polluting the river water. Even encroachments on the Irrigation Department land on Ganga ghats have not been removed. As a result, Municipal Corporation employees face inconvenience in sanitation work and in lifting garbage,” said Vipra.
RTI activist Ajay Sharma said the district administration, Municipal Corporation and departments concerned should ensure the NGT directive was implemented.
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