No government advisory on NGT’s plastic ban directive yet!
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No government advisory on NGT’s plastic ban directive yet!

Shopkeepers say they have not received any instruction regarding the directive to ban use of disposable plastic from January 1.

No government advisory on NGT’s plastic ban directive yet! Picture used for representative purpose only

Despite only three days remaining before the implementation of the National Green Tribunal’s directive to ban the use of disposable plastic in the city, the state government is yet to take any firm decision on the issue.

A senior official with the Delhi government told City Spidey that the government has neither issued an advisory nor does it have a definite plan regarding the issue so far. The official, who requested not to be named, said, “The government is yet to reach a conclusion on banning use of plastic bags as there was a case on the same issue pending in the Delhi High Court for the last four years. The case was recently transferred to the NGT.”

The official added that the government had issued a notification in October, 2012, prohibiting the sale, storage, manufacture, import and transport of all kinds of plastic bags. But the plastic bag manufacturers moved the high court against the order immediately. “The case was put on hold thereafter. In 2015, the Delhi government filed an application appealing speedy disposal of the matter. Now, the high court has transferred the case to NGT for a final decision,” the official added.

Meanwhile, shopkeepers, vegetable vendors and residents of the city are largely unaware of the directive. "So far I have not recived any notice or instruction from government or  Municipal Corporation of Delhi to stop selling plastic items. Around 100 customers come everyday to buy disposal glasses and other plastic items," said Vinod Shankar, a vendor at Samachar Market in Pandav Nagar.

SK Tuteja, secratary of Kirti Apartments, Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension, said, "I had read in the news that NGT has banned use of  disposable plastic, but after that there has been no information. I think NGT's directive should be implemented as it's the need of the hour."

On December 2, the green tribunal had stated, “We direct that use of disposable plastic is prohibited in entire National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. The government shall take steps for storage and use of plastic material with effect from January 1, 2017.”

The NGT’s direction came on a plea filed by Sukhdev Vihar Residents Welfare Association (RWA) for closure of a waste-to-energy plant. It was alleged that the plant used illegal mass burning technology causing air pollution.