Puri: The Forest and Environment Department has directed the Puri municipal authorities in January to report measures taken to implement blanket ban on use of polythene bags, quantum of polythene seized and fines collected, but rampant use of polythene continues in the Holy city in violation of restrictions.
Ban on polythene came into force October 2, 2018 but was strictly implemented from November 1 and fines should have been imposed on the violaters as per state government norms.
The ban has been enforced under phase I in Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Cuttack, Sambalpur and Rourkela along with Puri. Maximum use of polythene in Puri district leads to blockage of drains resulting in flood-like situation in the monsoon causing environment pollution in the city. The traders in the city were alert for a few days after the blanket ban on polythene as raids were conducted and fines collected from a few shops. Subsequently, when the raids slowed down, use of polythene continued as usual right under the nose of civic body officials.
Businessmen and provisions store owners, on the other hand, favoured use of polythene with thickness below 50 microns, over polybags because it costs less.
“Fines amounting Rs 66,000 has been collected and raids will be conducted at regular intervals by our enforcement squad,” said Harish Chandra Nayak, executive officer of the municipal corporation.