NGT once again bans plastic use in Haridwar, Rishikesh to save Ganga

Green panel imposes ₹5,000 fine on violators

Grave concern: Clothes, plastic sheets and garbage seen littering Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar .
Grave concern: Clothes, plastic sheets and garbage seen littering Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar .

Reiterating its previous orders, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday imposed a ban on plastic items, including plastic bags and cutlery, in Haridwar and Rishikesh.

Further, the bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar banned the sale, manufacture and storage of all such plastic items, till Uttarkashi. The green panel specified that the ban would be applicable to towns in Uttarakhand, along river Ganga and its tributaries.

The Tribunal said a fine of ₹5,000 would be imposed on those violating the order. Action would be taken against erring officials as well.

‘Complete prohibition’

In a judgment passed in 2015, the NGT had observed: “Plastic waste and other municipal waste is being thrown directly into river Ganga and its banks are full of such waste. There is no proper system for collection, segregation and disposal of municipal solid waste in the entire city of Haridwar.” said: In a bid to check further pollution of the river, the green panel had imposed a ban on the use of plastic. “There shall be complete prohibition of use of plastic in the entire city of Haridwar and Rishikesh and particularly on the banks and flood plain of river Ganga. Plastic will not be used for any purpose whatsoever, that is serving food, commodities, packaging or even carrying the plastic in that area.” the bench had said.

As part of the project to clean the river, the bench had held, “Under no circumstances, plastic carry bags of any thickness whatsoever would be permitted. The procurement, storing and sale of such plastic bags, plates, glass, spoons are hereby prohibited.”

Further, the Tribunal had also prohibited the authorities from throwing municipal waste, construction and demolition waste into Ganga and its tributaries.

The green panel passed the directions while hearing a plea filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta, and observed that despite previous orders passed by the Tribunal, plastic was still being used, which in turn was polluting the river.

Shinjini Ghosh

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