Total ban on polythene in 6 cities of Odisha from tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has decided to strictly enforce the ban on use of polythene bags with the month-long deadline ending today.

The state government will strictly enforce the ban in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Berhampur municipal corporations and the Puri municipality from tomorrow.

Through a letter, the Urban Development Department has been directed to ensure strict enforcement of the order and take stringent action against defaulters.

“Polythene bags stocked by the trading establishments and industries will be seized and manufacturing units will be sealed under the environment protection act,” Forests and Environment department director, K Murugesan said.

According to sources, if traders and manufacturing units are found selling banned polythene, they would be slapped with a fine up to Rs 1 lakh and small traders would be penalised to the tune of Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000.

Murugesan further said if the offence is repeated, then defaulters could face imprisonment from 5years to 7years.

The use of polythene and plastic bags has come down by 50 per cent after declaration of the ban. Alternative measures have been taken as cotton and paper bags are being made available, informed Murugesan.

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As per the government guidelines, vendors will not be allowed to use polythene sheets of less than 50 micron thickness for storing, transporting, dispensing or packaging.

Earlier the state government had announced to ban use of plastic and polythene bags in the state from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, and conducted a month-long awareness drive which will end today.

Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has approved fine structure for households, road-side eateries, restaurants.

As per the stipulated penalties, households will be penalised Rs 200, Rs 500, Rs 1,000 for first three instances of violation following which criminal proceedings can be initiated.

Similarly, shop owners will be fined Rs 500, Rs 1000, Rs 2,000 and restaurant owners will be penalised Rs 1000, Rs 2000, Rs 5000 for first three instances of violation following which criminal proceedings and cancellation of trade licence could be initiated.

Moreover for hotels including star category facilities, the penalty structure will be Rs 2000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000 for first three instances of violation. Criminal proceedings and cancellation of trade license after the third violation could be initiated.

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