Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, under pressure from the manufacturers and employees of plastic bags, on Tuesday cast aside its state noble intentions of cleansing the city environs, by agreeing to allow the production and sale of plastic carry up to 40 microns.
Addressing a packed media conference, GHMC Commissioner MT Krishna Babu, flanked by Mayor Banda Karthika Reddy and Deputy Mayor Jaffer Hussain, said that the manufacturing units would be able to produce and sell plastic bags up to 40 microns till a government notification is issued.
However, Mr Krishna Babu announced that severe penalties would be imposed on the manufacturing units if they are found to be violating the rule and producing bags below 40 microns.
“The first offense would invite a penalty of Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000, while any subsequent violation would mean that the units license would be cancelled and the unit sealed,” Mr Krishna Babu said.
The penalties would not be limited to the manufacturers alone.
Traders packing their wares in plastic bags below 40 microns would be also liable for punishment.
“A first offense would invite penalties of Rs 2500 to Rs 5000. Any other violation would mean the shop’s trade license being cancelled under the Labour Act,” the GHMC Commissioner said.
Besides this, citizens using such carry bags would also invite penalties, ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 500.
The GHMC would give the responsibility to impose the ban on plastics to each Deputy Municipal Commissioner, who would function as the Chief Enforcement Officer in each Circle.
Apart from this the GHMC, which had launched the special awareness drive during the entire month of June, would continue it in the next month.
The awareness drive for prevention of plastic carry bag usage was conducted through cinema slides, hoardings, bulk sms etc.
Meetings were also conducted with various trade associations plastic manufacturers association; NGOs hoteliers residents welfare associations self help groups etc to create awareness and seek cooperation.
Earlier, various trade associations and plastic manufacture associations have requested the GHMC to restrict the ban of plastic bags up to 40 microns as per the Central government’s notification.(INN)