SMC orders full ban on use of hoarding, distribution, sale of polythene

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In a latest development, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has ordered a complete ban on use of hoarding, distribution or sale of polythene and prohibited single-use plastics in Srinagar Municipal Limits from 24 July.

In this regard an order has been issued by the SMC Commissioner Commissioner Athar Amir Khan, a copy of which lies with a local news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), which states that after the government constituted a special task force for the elimination of single-use plastic and for addressing the issue of plastic in Jammu and Kashmir, the action was put in forth.

The official document states that, “Polythene and other single-use plastics are extremely harmful to the environment and public health. Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 (SWM Rules, 2016) and Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 (PWM Rules, 2016) and its amendments provide for rules and guidelines to deal with this menace.”

With regard to the waste segregation and Disposal, the order states that, “All commercial units and establishments, including street vendors, shops, restaurants, hotels, private or public offices, malls, institutes, public or private sector companies, schools, colleges, universities etc. have been asked to make sure that waste generated by them or by their customers or clients is properly managed and the compounds are kept clean and litter-free.”

“The waste shall be segregated, disposed of scientifically or handed over to SMC Sanitation staff,” it reads

Further as per the order, all bulk waste generators shall ensure they have a proper mechanism for waste collection and disposal in place. All hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries, pharmacies and medical shops shall ensure bio-medical waste, expired or used medicine, equipment, etc is disposed-off in accordance with bio medical waste management rules 2016 and its amendments.

All commercial units including shops, restaurants, hotels, street vendors, malls, institutes, offices (government & private), public or private sector companies, schools, colleges, universities etc. shall keep two dustbins in or outside their units for keeping wet (biodegradable) and dry (non-biodegradable) waste within three days after publication of this notice, the order reads.

The order also states that negligence to comply with the rules would lead to heavy penalties and immediate sealing of the establishments/units.

“Rs 500 will be fined for use of polythene bags/ prohibited single use plastics by individuals. Rs 5000 fine for use or for selling goods in polythene bags by commercial establishments/units. Rs 10,000 fine per kilogram for carrying, stocking or selling or bulk use of polythene or other prohibited plastics. Rs 500 fine for littering by individuals, Rs 5000 spot fine for littering by commercial establishments and Rs 25000 fine for failure to manage solid waste by bulk waste generators in accordance with rules,” it reads.

The SMC Commissioner said that “no one shall bring polythene or single use plastics into the Srinagar city for personal or commercial use via any of the entry points of the city. No one shall engage in sale of polythene and prohibited single use plastics in the city. No one shall sell goods or commodities in polythene or prohibited plastic bags. No one shall stock or hoard prohibited polythene or single use plastics”.

No one shall litter waste, including that of polythene or plastic in public places including roads, footpaths, vacant land drains, streams, rivers or lakes. No one shall litter anywhere in the city. The waste shall be deposited in the designated dustbins only, the order reads—(KNO)

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