Odisha plastic ban: Will it fizzle out like Gutka ban?

Bhubaneswar: Five years ago the Odisha government had ordered a ban on ‘Gutka’ (Pan Masala and Tobacco) but sales continue to thrive. Now, the ban on plastics announced by the State government yesterday has raised questions on its effective implementation.

The very first thing that people seem worried about the ban is bringing a change in the mindset of people.

“Ban is fine… but the government should now come up with an alternative, else people will suffer,” said a Berhampur resident.

For another local of the Silk city, an alternative prior to the ban announcement would have been better.

The ban on the use of plastic bags and polythene in the State will be imposed starting from Gandhi Jayanti.

The ban will come into force first in Cuttack, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Berhampur from October 2 and in the entire State in the next two years.

The Housing and Urban Development Department will implement the ban in the Municipal Corporations and urban local bodies while the Panchayati Raj Department will enforce the same in rural areas across the State.

Meanwhile, the State Pollution Control Board has been directed to prepare a Draft Bill in this regard and submit it to the Forest and Environment Department within seven days, which will monitor the plastic ban measures in the State.

“Only Maharashtra has completely banned the use of polythene. We will review their norms and check how those can be implemented here. Later, we will prepare a Draft Bill and submit it for legislation,” said member secretary of State Pollution Control Board, Debidutta Biswal.