In a major development to ban polythene bags (plastic bags) in Chandigarh, the NGT (National Green Tribunal) has decided to implement a fine of Rs. 5000 on anyone found carrying a plastic bag in the city. Apart from plastic carry bags, anyone found using or dealing with plastic disposable cups, glasses or plates will also have to pay the fine amounting to Rs. 5000.
The fine has been imposed from immediate effect (December 2015) by NGT. While making the announcement, NGT has slammed the Chandigarh Administration and civic authorities for not being able to stop the use of plastic carry bags in Chandigarh. Chandigarh had banned plastic bags in year 2008 but soon after there was no check on the manufacturing, distribution and use of these polythene bags within the city of Chandigarh.
The fine amount and who can be fined:
Moving a step further in year 2015-16, authorities have said that they’ll not just fine shopkeepers and traders using plastic bags but will also fine residents found carrying plastic carry bags. The fine amount has been kept at a whooping Rs 5000 so that no one dares to use plastic bags in Chandigarh. Imposing a huge amount of fine is the only solution from stopping people using plastic bags and make them think about making Chandigarh a plastic free city. If a person is caught with a plastic bag for the second time or indulges in the trade of these bags, he may be fined up to Rs 1 Lakh along with 1 year of imprisonment. The jail term may also be extended for 5 years in certain situations.
Use of Polythene bags in Chandigarh, banned completely
It was stated that most plastic bags come from sabzi mandi and apni mandis set up in various parts of Chandigarh. Apart from these, hawkers selling fruits and vegetables contribute a big amount of plastic bags in the city by distributing these for storage and carrying purpose to residents of Chandigarh. Chandigarh administration will be taking strict action to stop the use of these plastic bags in the city. Many shopkeepers also indulge in the practise of using and distributing plastic bags. Also, there are some polythene bag manufacturers in and around Chandigarh which will soon be under the wrath of Chandigarh administration.
In the meantime, I advice you not to carry a plastic bag. You’ll be glad to know that many people now use cotton bags. Also tell your shopkeeper to use cotton bags. After all, it is to make our Chandigarh pollution free. There will be no use of acting ignorant if you ever get fined and are asked to pay Rs. 5000. There’s no passing by this one!