National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 2 July 2015 imposed a complete ban on plastic bags in the pilgrimage towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh. It also fixed a penalty of 5000 rupees on anyone found violating the order.
The penalty will be charged as compensation for degradation of environment.
NGT bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar gave the direction on a complaint filed by environmentalist MC Mehta against pollution of the Ganga River.
NGT in its order said that there shall be complete prohibition on plastic in the two districts, particularly on the banks and flood plains of the river. Plastic will not be used for any purpose, like for serving food, commodities, packing items and others.
Besides, the tribunal ordered the Haridwar Nagar Nigam, police and state pollution control board officials posted in that area to take rounds of flood plains and Ghats of Ganga to ensure that no plastic is used in any manner. It also held that no commodity of any kind is sold by the shopkeepers in plastic bags and the Nigam would ensure that any kind of municipal solid waste or animal waste is not permitted to be thrown in the Ghats under any circumstances.
It also asked the nigam, pollution control board and police to place appropriate sized dustbins near the shops within a week. It would be mandatory for people to throw waste in dustbins only, which will be collected on daily basis and taken at appropriate site and dumped according to MSW Rules, 2000.
The bench also said that these state agencies would be further responsible for making an appropriate site and prepare it scientifically for storage of waste. It shall be treated, waste deposit shall be covered by soil and disinfectant sprayed regularly.
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Where: Haridwar & Rishikesh
What: Banned use of Plastic
When: 2 July 2015