Five years after the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change banned manufacture, sale and use of plastic bags, the MCG has finally decided to enforce the ban in the city. The Sispal Vihar AWHO became the first society to ban polythene bags within its premises.
The RWA has directed all commercial establishments within the society to stop the use of polythene bags. It further added that it would conduct raids at shops to enforce compliance and issue challans to offenders.
“We have informed residents to stop using polythene bags and switch to cotton or jute bags. It’s up on the website; we have sent SMS alerts and put up notices as well,” said Satendra Dixit, the RWA general secretary.
The drive, though initiated five years ago, didn’t have the desired impact. But now the MCG has decided to deal with the situation more stringently. Several NGOs, residential sectors and condominiums have come forward to enforce the ban within their complexes. The NGO, I Am Gurgaon, recently launched a campaign to stop the use of polythene in shopping complexes.
The defaulters can expect to pay a heavy fine this time. “Residents and commercial establishments will be penalised with Rs 1,000; the second time they will have to pay Rs 2,000, and the third time Rs 3,000. After three penalties, strict action will be initiated against the person,” asserted SK Yadav, the RWA president.
“It is the citizens who need to participate proactively. We are spreading as much awareness as possible, and the RWAs too are coming forward to help. People should understand that this ban is meant for their own good,” said TL Satya Prakash, Municipal Commissioner of Gurgaon.
To ensure the success of the drive, the MCG has decided to take the help of RWAs and NGOs to distribute free bags at shopping complexes and encourage people to carry their own bags. It has asked the NGO Red Cross Society, Gurgaon, to help implement the ban in the city. “We will conduct raids at commercial establishments. We have also been encouraging the prisoners at the Bhondsi district jail to make jute bags, which are then given to the RWAs for distribution,” points out Shyam Sunder, secretary of Red Cross Society.