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Corporation to penalise makers, suppliers of single-use plastics from Monday
Officials say teams have already been formed to seize banned plastic items from shops. Violators will be fined between Rs 100 and Rs 3 lakh; repeat offence would lead to permanent closure.
From Monday — nearly six months after the state government banned single-use plastic items in Tamil Nadu — the Greater Chennai Corporation will penalise manufacturers, sellers and suppliers of such items in Chennai.
As per a Chennai Corporation’s council resolution, the use and manufacture of single-use plastic products will attract a penalty ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 3 lakh and the repeated offence would lead to the permanent closure of the commercial establishments. A Chennai Corporation higher official said, “The state government has recently accorded permission to our resolution pertaining to impose penalty plastic manufacturers and users. A circular regarding the implementation of penalty will be issued Friday.”
He added that the officials would impose penalty starting from Monday and teams have already been formed to seize banned plastic items from shops. According to the civic body resolution, manufacturing banned plastic items would attract a penalty of Rs 1 lakh during first time offence, Rs 2 lakh during second offence and Rs 3 lakh during third time. The fourth-time offence would result in the sealing and closure of the manufacturing units.
A penalty of Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh would be imposed for storage, supply, retailing and transporting banned items. For the fourth time offence, vehicles used for transporting the plastic would be impounded and storage facilities would be sealed.
Meanwhile, the civic body has also decided to empower the ward level andzonal level teams to impose a penalty in addition to seizing the banned items from commercial establishments. “Teams had been created immediately after the government announced the ban and they are regularly checking shops and hotels,” the official added.
According to Chennai Corporation data, as much as 242.75 tonnes of banned plastic items have been seized by the civic officials from January 1 to June 9. Of the total seized plastic items, around 55 tonnes have been seized from Kodambakkam zone that comprises the commercial hub of the city – T Nagar.
Due to the lack of penalty provision in Chennai Corporation rules, many shops and hotel owners, who were initially refusing to provide plastic bags, were emboldened and started providing banned items to consumers. On average, the officials have been seizing 500 kilograms of plastic items across the city every day. “We are conducting raids every day and the senior officials have instructed us to check vehicles entering the city from other districts to prevent smuggling of banned plastic,” said an official.
Welcoming the move, distributors of alternate products urge the Chennai Corporation to use dichloromethane (DCM) as most of the shops use fake biodegradable plastic bags. “During the initial days of plastic ban, we are getting more orders for alternateproducts. Now, the orders have declined due to the lack of severe action. Imposingpenalty will encourage alternate products,” a distributor said.
Even though the manufacturing of plastic items is banned, such items are smuggled into the state from Pondicherry and Gujarat and hoarded in godowns in Parrys Corner for later distribution to the retail shop owners.